One in four 14-year-old girls self-harm, reports Children’s Society

The Children’s Society | August 2018 | The Good Childhood Report 2018

Every year The Children’s Society produces a wellbeing report, a comprehensive report into children’s wellbeing to hear what children have to say about their lives, what makes them happy and what needs to be improved for this generation. 

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Image source: childrenssociety.org.uk

Key findings from the report:

  • Pressure to fit in with society’s expectations is making children unhappy
  • Alarming numbers of children are self-harming
  • Non-stop comments about appearance are harmful to girls’ well-being
  • Outdated gender stereotypes are damaging to boys’ and girls’ happiness
  • Family relationships are particularly important for girls

Children’s Society press release One in four 14-year-old girls self-harm

Read the full report at The Children’s Society

The Good Child Summary report  available here 

 

In the media:

BBC News Quarter of 14 year old girls self-harm 

The Telegraph Quarter of 14 year old girls self-harm, study finds, amid warning of ‘crisis in children’s mental health’ 

The Guardian Quarter of 14-year-old girls in UK have self-harmed, report finds

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Young people bullied online are twice as likely to self-harm

A new systematic review with meta analyses examines  the relationship between cyberbullying and self- harm (SH) and suicidal behaviour. The researchers reviewed the evidence and found victims of cyber bullying are twice as likely to self harm than their peers. They also noted perpetrators are at risk of suicidal behaviors and suicidal ideation when compared with nonperpetrators. 

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ABSTRACT

Background: Given the concerns about bullying via electronic communication in children and young people and its possible contribution to self-harm, we have reviewed the evidence for associations between cyberbullying involvement and self-harm or suicidal behaviors (such as suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts) in children and young people.

Objective: The aim of this study was to systematically review the current evidence examining the association between cyberbullying involvement as victim or perpetrator and self-harm and suicidal behaviors in children and young people (younger than 25 years), and where possible, to meta-analyze data on the associations.

Methods: An electronic literature search was conducted for all studies published between January 1, 1996, and February 3, 2017, across sources, including MEDLINE, Cochrane, and PsycINFO. Articles were included if the study examined any association between cyberbullying involvement and self-harm or suicidal behaviors and reported empirical data in a sample aged under 25 years. Quality of included papers was assessed and data were extracted. Meta-analyses of data were conducted.

Results: A total of 33 eligible articles from 26 independent studies were included, covering a population of 156,384 children and young people. A total of 25 articles (20 independent studies, n=115,056) identified associations (negative influences) between cybervictimization and self-harm or suicidal behaviors or between perpetrating cyberbullying and suicidal behaviors. Three additional studies, in which the cyberbullying, self-harm, or suicidal behaviors measures had been combined with other measures (such as traditional bullying and mental health problems), also showed negative influences (n=44,526). A total of 5 studies showed no significant associations (n=5646). Meta-analyses, producing odds ratios (ORs) as a summary measure of effect size (eg, ratio of the odds of cyber victims who have experienced SH vs nonvictims who have experienced SH), showed that, compared with nonvictims, those who have experienced cybervictimization were OR 2.35 (95% CI 1.65-3.34) times as likely to self-harm, OR 2.10 (95% CI 1.73-2.55) times as likely to exhibit suicidal behaviors, OR 2.57 (95% CI 1.69-3.90) times more likely to attempt suicide, and OR 2.15 (95% CI 1.70-2.71) times more likely to have suicidal thoughts. Cyberbullying perpetrators were OR 1.21 (95% CI 1.02-1.44) times more likely to exhibit suicidal behaviors and OR 1.23 (95% CI 1.10-1.37) times more likely to experience suicidal ideation than nonperpetrators.

Conclusions: Victims of cyberbullying are at a greater risk than nonvictims of both self-harm and suicidal behaviors. To a lesser extent, perpetrators of cyberbullying are at risk of suicidal behaviors and suicidal ideation when compared with nonperpetrators. Policy makers and schools should prioritize the inclusion of cyberbullying involvement in programs to prevent traditional bullying. Type of cyberbullying involvement, frequency, and gender should be assessed in future studies.

Full reference:

The full article can be read at JMIR 

Related: Science Daily Young victims of cyberbullying twice as likely to attempt suicide and self-harm, study finds

Relationship Between Mindfulness and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury

This research explored whether lack of mindfulness or problems in mindfulness are involved in self-injury.

Non-suicidal self-injury is a complex behaviour, disturbingly prevalent, difficult to treat and with possible adverse outcomes in the long term. Previous research has shown individuals most commonly self-injure to cope with overwhelming negative emotions. Mindfulness has been shown to be associated with emotion regulation, and mindfulness-based interventions have shown effectiveness in a wide range of psychological disorders.

Pairwise comparisons revealed current self-injurers reported significantly lower mindfulness than past self-injurers and non-self-injurers, with medium effect sizes of d = 0.51 and d = 0.77, respectively. In logistic regression, low mindfulness significantly predicted self-injury (B = 0.04, p < .001). These findings have clinical implications, suggesting that mindfulness-based interventions may assist individuals to give up self-injurious behaviours and may be an important part of prevention strategies.

Full reference: Caltabiano, G. & Martin, G. (2017) Mindless Suffering: the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury. Mindfulness. 8(788)

Digital educational programme on nurses’ knowledge, confidence and attitudes in providing care for children and young people who have self-harmed

Manning, J.C. (2017) BMJ Open. 7:e014750.

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Objectives:

(1) To determine the impact of a digital educational intervention on the knowledge, attitudes, confidence and behavioural intention of registered children’s nurses working with children and young people (CYP) admitted with self-harm.

(2) To explore the perceived impact, suitability and usefulness of the intervention.

Intervention: A digital educational intervention that had been co-produced with CYP service users, registered children’s nurses and academics.

Conclusions: The effect of the intervention is promising and demonstrates the potential it has in improving registered children’s nurse’s knowledge, confidence and attitudes. However, further testing is required to confirm this.

Read the full article here

Nursing attitudes to deliberate self-harm

Carswell, C. & Noble, H. BMJ Evidence-Based Nursing blog. Published online: 6 February 2017

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Attitudes can have a significant effect on behaviour meaning that the attitudes nurses hold can have an impact on their nursing practice. Patients who self-harm report high levels of stigma and negative attitudes, stating that they have been called ‘attention seeking’ or ‘manipulative’ as a result of the self-injurious behaviour. The text Blades, Blood and Bandages tells the stories of 25 people’s experiences of self-injury and investigates how those who self-injure are ‘affected by suffering, ritual and stigma’ http://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9780230252813

These negative attitudes and beliefs have originated from not only their friends and family, but also from medical professionals and emergency department personnel following presentation for their injuries. These attitudes can be interpreted through the professional’s behaviour and can have a profound effect on the patient. They can determine whether the patient decides to stay in the hospital for assessment, treatment or referral and whether they are instilled with a sense of hope and validation which in turn can help reduce the risk of further incidents of self-harm and even suicide. Attitudes can also have a more direct impact on nursing practice, for example nurses may feel unequipped or unprepared to perform a comprehensive assessment or to refer on to specialist mental health services.

Read the full blog post here

Relationship Between Predictors of Incident Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicide Attempts

Huang, Y-S. et al. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online: 31 January 2017

Purpose: Data on the incidence of deliberate self-harm (DSH) and suicide attempts (SAs) are lacking in non-Western adolescents, and no studies have investigated differences in incident DSH and SA worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the incidence rates and relationships between predictors in DSH and SA.

Conclusions: The incidence rates of DSH and SA were similar to those reported in Western countries. The predictors of incident DSH and SA were similar but not identical. Our results highlight the risk factors which should be considered in terms of early identification and intervention among adolescents to prevent suicidality.

Read the full abstract here

Temperament and character traits in female adolescents with nonsuicidal self-injury disorder

Tschan, T. et al. (2017) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. 11:4

Background: Temperament and character traits of adolescents with nonsuicidal self-injury disorder (NSSI) might differentiate those- with and without comorbid borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Results: Adolescents with NSSI disorder scored significantly higher on novelty seeking and harm avoidance and lower on persistence, self-directedness, and cooperativeness than CC. The NSSI + BPD group scored even higher than the NSSI − BPD group on novelty seeking and harm avoidance and lower on persistence and cooperativeness (d ≥ 0.72). Adolescents with NSSI reported higher levels of impulsivity than the CC and NC group. However, this difference was not found in a Go/NoGo task.

Conclusions: The results provide further evidence for a distinct diagnostic entity of NSSI disorder.

Read the full article here