Prevalence and Predictors of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Bushra Akram, Mehak Batool, Zeeshan Rafi, Abrar Akram


Objectives: To find the prevalence as well as to identify the predictors as protective and risk factors of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Methods: In  this analytical cross sectional survey 83 children with ASD age range from 8 to 18 years were selected through convenient sampling technique from five special schools of Lahore city. The Urdu form of a standardized tool was used to assess NSSI.

Results: Statistical analysis indicated overall point prevalence of NSSI was 33%. Moreover banging/self-beating (47%), scratching (38), pinching (35%), picking scabs (33%), self-biting (32%), pulling hair (30%) and rubbing skin (19%) emerged as common forms of challenging behavior. Further regression analysis showed that age B(1.68*, P<0.05), gender B(3.72, P<0.001) and severity level of ASD B(1.85***, p<0.0001) as risk factors/positive predictors of NSSI. However early intervention (-0.66***, P<0.0001) and involvement of parents in counselling (‑2.66*, P<0.05) emerged as protective factors/negative predictors of NSSI among children with ASD.

Conclusion: Non-suicidal self-injury is a serious challenge among children with ASD. Early intervention, counselling and parental involvement in managing the children with ASD will not only prevent but reduce the challenging behaviors.


How to cite this:Akram B, Batool M, Rafi Z, Akram A. Prevalence and Predictors of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(5):1225-1229.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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