n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Development and validation of prison Inmates Self-Harm Urges Scale (IS-HUS) : a psychometric study

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



The rate of self-harm among prison inmates tends to be on the increase globally, often resulting in ultimate self-harm (suicide)if not checked. Such behaviours are often premeditated and may have been nursed as urges in the mind for some time. This study aimed at developing a psychological instrument that would help detect such urges before their full manifestation. Focus group discussions (FGD) were held with 32 purposively selected inmates and open-ended questions administered to 97 randomly selected inmates from Agodi prison. In-depth interview (IDIs) were conducted with 4 purposively selected prison staff. Initial items were validated by 2 clinical psychologists, 1 social psychologist, and 1 sociologist. Themes emerged from their responses which aided the development of the initial 23 items; these items were further scrutinized by 2 clinical psychologists and then administered to 120 inmates randomly selected from Agodi prison. Their responses were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0, giving rise to a valid and reliable 19-item scale - IS-HUS with three sub-scales. Sub-scale 1 measures physical self-harm urges, sub-scale 2 measures verbal self-harm urges, sub-scale 3 measures transferred self-harms. The scale was translated to Yoruba language and retranslated to English language.

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