Factors that protect against self-injury: The role of everyday social and personal resources

Cassandra Rotolone (2010). Factors that protect against self-injury: The role of everyday social and personal resources Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Cassandra Rotolone
Thesis Title Factors that protect against self-injury: The role of everyday social and personal resources
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 74
Abstract/Summary Self-injury represents an alarmingly common yet highly perplexing set of behaviours which are considered notoriously difficult to treat. The current study aimed to identify a range of social and personal resources which may provide a protective barrier against the initiation of self-injury and also which, if enhanced, may aid in the cessation of such behaviours. Additionally a related attempt was made to investigate the pattern of help-seeking behaviour undertaken by self-injuring individuals. A community sample of 312 participants completed an online questionnaire which measured self-injurious behaviours as well as a range of other psychosocial factors. Differences between individuals who were currently self-injuring and those who had ceased such behaviours were investigated, as well as differences between those with no history of self-injury. Results indicated significant differences between the groups on levels of all protective factors such that self-injurers reported significantly lower levels of perceived social support, social connectedness, resilience, self-esteem and life satisfaction compared to those with no history of self-injury. In addition, further analysis indicated that perceived social support, self-esteem and resilience had a unique ability to predict self-injury status. Moreover, self-injuring individuals were significantly less likely to utilize their social network for help-seeking purposes but were no more likely to turn to professional resources as an alternative. The current research has important clinical implications and facilitates an improved understanding of how aspects of the social environment and wider community can be enhanced to protect and prevent individuals from initiating and continuing self-injurious behaviours.

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Created: Tue, 05 Apr 2011, 12:09:43 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology