Who engages with self-injury related Internet sites and why do they do so?

Kaukiainen, Amy (2015). Who engages with self-injury related Internet sites and why do they do so? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Kaukiainen, Amy
Thesis Title Who engages with self-injury related Internet sites and why do they do so?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Graham Martin
Total pages 69
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
Self-injury is a problem that is alarmingly common within the general public yet poorly understood within the scientific community. With the Internet becoming an everyday part of life, it is not surprising that self-injury content is appearing online. Social media pages, discussion boards and information pages all have sectors dedicated to the discussion of self-injury. Despite numerous forums, mental health professionals generally agree access is likely to be detrimental to self-injury recovery. The aim of the current research was to determine who was accessing such sites, and what they believed were the gains from doing so. In order to address this, the relationships between Internet use, self-injurious behaviours, stigma, help seeking, perceived social support and self-validation were examined. Results revealed that self-injurers going online were significantly different from self-injurers refraining from going online. There were also differences between those commenting (active users) on such websites compared to those only reading (passive users) such websites, particularly in the area of perceived social support (higher for the passive users). Results also found a strong, positive relationship between perceived social support and self-validation. This suggests the way users attempt to give each other social support also results in increased selfvalidation. These findings begin to determine why self-injurers are going online, but supports the concerns of mental health professionals who suggest they have a negative impact. Beyond filling this gap in the literature, the findings also suggest practical interventions that could assist recovery in the future.
Keyword Self-injury

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Created: Wed, 27 Apr 2016, 14:18:49 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology