This paper reports an Internet survey of adolescent self-injurers (n=128, mean age 16.7 years). Details regarding personal information; types of self harm engaged in; behavioural histories associated with respondents’ self-injury; romantic relationships; emotions in relation to self-injury; life events; and consultation with health professionals were collected and data were analysed descriptively. This survey reveals a picture of the adolescent self-injurer as someone who is usually female, often with a history of sexual and/or physical abuse and eating disorders. ‘She’ tends to cut her arms and legs on a daily or weekly basis, and usually hides her self-injury from others. Respondents indicated that the practice of self-injury helped to reduce anxiety, confusion, and depression. Implications for advancing promotion, prevention and early intervention (PPEI) approaches to mental health are discussed.
|Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health
|Published - 2005