Self harm in children: A comparison of child inpatients who self-harm and those who do not

Bonnie Palmer (2010). Self harm in children: A comparison of child inpatients who self-harm and those who do not Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bonnie Palmer
Thesis Title Self harm in children: A comparison of child inpatients who self-harm and those who do not
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Martin, Graham E.
Total pages 70
Abstract/Summary The factors associated with self-harm in adults and adolescents are well researched. Little is known about the nature of self-harm in children, however, particularly in child inpatients. The present study aimed to investigate the characteristics and variables associated with self-harm in child inpatients aged 7 to 14 years. It further sought to determine whether child inpatients engage in self-harm as a way of regulating their emotions. The study involved a hypothesis-driven methodological examination of the case files of 80 inpatients admitted between 2003 and 2008 to the Child and Family Therapy Unit at the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane. Inpatients were selected based on their scores on Item 3: Non-accidental self-injury of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA; Gowers, et al., 1999), with forty inpatients scoring between 0 and 1, and forty inpatients scoring between 2 and 4. The most common precipitants of self-harm were family-related factors, whilst the most common methods were cutting and head-banging. The self-harming group differed from the comparison group in terms of living situation, psychological functioning as measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) and HoNOSCA total scores, and sexual abuse. The hypothesis that children would engage in self-harm to regulate their emotions was not supported. Explanations for the findings and potential implications for research, intervention and prevention are discussed.

 
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Created: Tue, 05 Apr 2011, 11:49:58 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology