Deliberate self harm (DSH) is widely recognised as a major public health issue among adolescents in Ireland
(Morey et al, 2008; Keely, H, 2004; McMahon et al, 2010). Currently, adolescents in Ireland are considered to be
at the highest risk, with young women having the highest number of cases admitted to A&E departments for DSH.
Due to the lack of information and data on the topic, an international study was conducted across seven countries
(Australia, Belgium, England, Hungary, Ireland and Holland) (Madge et al, 2008).
The aims of our study are to (1) analyse specific factors associated with DSH using Multiple Correspondence
Analysis (MCA) to investigate what levels of these factors are associated with various levels of DSH and (2)
investigate the differences, if any, between males and females with respect to the specific factors and DSH.
The instrument incorporated in the survey conducted by Madge et al (2008) was an anonymous, selfcompleted questionnaire which students had 30 minutes to answer as to facilitate its completion within one class
period at school. Among the various aspects covered in this survey, three validated psychological scales were used
to gain insight into depression, anxiety, self-esteem and impulsivity amongst adolescents in Ireland (McMahon et
al, 2010). We incorporated the geometric approach to MCA, which deals with the visualisation of data, in our
When analysing various groupings of factors associated with DSH, it was evident that certain levels of factors,
be it physical abuse or psychological characteristics, have different associations with the different levels of DSH.
It was also shown that slight differences exist between males and females when looking only at the specified
factors. When these factors are examined more closely, and each level of these factors is taken into account, the
differences become more apparent. It was also interesting to observe that, while using a completely different
method of analysis, the overall findings are similar to comparable studies conducted in Ireland and abroad.
Multiple correspondence analysis allowed us to examine associations between variables without the use of a