Functions and prevalence of self-directed violence in adolescence

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carrie A. Wachter Morris, Associate Professor & School Counseling Coordinator (Creator)
Kelly L. Wester, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The prevalence of self-directed violence (SDV) is increasing in adolescents. SDV, defined as behavior that is self-directed and deliberately results in actual injury or the potential for injury to self, includes both nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal behavior. In this study, an intact group of students in grades 8–12 at their school were surveyed about their history of SDV, the size of their peer groups and the strength of relationships with peers, and the function that SDV served for those who reported a history of SDV. Approximately one-third of the youth surveyed reported engaging in one or more SDV behaviors. Functions of both NSSI and suicidal ideation and behavior were primarily for emotion regulation, with youth who engaged in both NSSI and suicidal behaviors reporting a greater need for emotion regulation. While the size of peer groups reported did not differ for youth who engaged in SDV versus those who did not, the more friends an adolescent identified, the less likely the youth was to engage in SDV for emotion regulation.

Additional Information

Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 6(2), 110-123
Language: English
Date: 2020
Self-directed violence, nonsuicidal self-injury, suicidality, adolescents, school

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