Roughly 1 to 4% of the population engages in self-harm. Superficial self-harm is reported by more young women, than young men. Appropriate responses from family, friends, and other important individuals are a key ingredient in facilitating recovery. Non-therapists, such as family, friends, and school personnel often wish to assist young women who self-harm, but the problem is complex and they are often unsure of how to respond. Current studies primarily focus on the clinical interventions for self-harm, while very few have investigated the perspectives of the individuals who self-harm. This study investigated the perspectives of young women who self-harm in terms of who and what they perceive as helpful when attempting to deal with and/or reduce their self-harming behaviors. Results revealed that participants perceive their friends as the most helpful group. The most preferred helping behaviors included the following: having someone acknowledge the severity of their distress; talking about self-harm with someone who is nonjudgmental and lets them verbalize their feelings; and knowing someone is available.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ryan, Katherine D., "Superficial Self-Harm Behavior: Helping Young Women Who Hurt Themselves" (2006). Theses and Dissertations. 473.
self-harm, women, help, self-mutilation, intervention, support, self-report