Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory
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About Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory
The Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory (DSHI) is a 17-item, behaviorally based, a self-report questionnaire developed by the author to assess deliberate self-harm (see Appendix). The DSHI is based on the conceptual definition of deliberate self-harm as the deliberate, direct destruction or alteration of body tissue without conscious suicidal intent, but resulting in injury severe enough for tissue damage (e.g., scarring) to occur.
This measure assesses various aspects of deliberate self-harm, including frequency, severity, duration, and type of self-harming behaviour. The specific acts of deliberate self-harm listed in the questionnaire were based on clinical observations, numerous testimonies of individuals who engage in self-harming behaviour, and common behaviours reported in the literature.
In order to collect preliminary psychometric data on the DSHI, two variables were derived from information obtained from the DSHI. A continuous variable was created to measure the frequency of reported self-harm behaviour. Participants’ scores on the frequency questions for each of the 17 items (when Item 17 was judged to be a deliberate self-harm behaviour) were summed to create a variable of the total frequency of self-harm behaviour (including “0”).
A dichotomous self-harm variable was also created by assigning a score of “1” to participants who answered yes to any of the first 16 items on the DSHI, or whose affirmative answer to Item 17 on the DSHI described a behaviour consistent with the conceptual definition of self-harm described above. All other participants (i.e., those who did not answer “yes” to any of the DSHI items) were assigned a score of “0” on this dichotomous self-harm variable.