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Psychometric analysis of the Self-Harm Inventory using Rasch modelling

Latimer, S., Covic, T., Cumming, S.R. and Tennant, A. (2009) Psychometric analysis of the Self-Harm Inventory using Rasch modelling. BMC Psychiatry , 9. ISSN 1471-244X


BACKGROUND Deliberate Self-Harm (DSH) is the intentional destruction of healthy body tissue without suicidal intent. DSH behaviours in non-clinical populations vary, and instruments containing a range of behaviours may be more informative than ones with restricted content. The Self-Harm Inventory (SHI) is a widely used measure of DSH in clinical populations (mental and physical health) and covers a broad range of behaviours (self-injury, risk taking and self-defeating acts). The test authors recommend the SHI to screen for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) using a cut-off score of five or more. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychometric characteristics of the SHI in non-clinical samples.

METHODS The SHI was administered to a sample of 423 non-clinical participants (university students, age range 17 to 30). External validation was informed by the administration of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21 (DASS-21) to a sub-sample (n = 221). Rasch analysis of the SHI was conducted to provide a stringent test of unidimensionality and to identify the DSH behaviours most likely to be endorsed at each total score.

RESULTS The SHI showed adequate fit to the Rasch model and no modifications were required following checks of local response dependency, differential item functioning and unidimensionality. The scale identified gender and age differences in scores, with females and older participants reporting higher levels of DSH. SHI scores and DASS-21 scores were related.

CONCLUSION The recommended cut-off point of five is likely to comprise mild forms of DSH and may not be indicative of psychopathology in a non-clinical population. Rather it may be more indicative of developmentally related risk taking behaviours while a higher cut-off point may be more suggestive of psychopathology as indicated by higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Latimer et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Medicine (Leeds)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 10:52
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2014 09:35
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-9-53
Status: Published
Publisher: Biomed Central
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1186/1471-244X-9-53
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10798

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