What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

RESEARCHER PINPOINTS FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TEEN SELF-HARM

     Home  >  Articles  > News & Tips: Health
by NYMetroParents Staff January 4, 2013

Related: prevent teen self-harm, prevent teen suicide, talk to teens about self-harm and suicide,


Results from more than 60,000 Minnesota teens indicate nearly half of those who injured themselves also attempted suicide; Findings will help parents, medical professionals and educators recognize those at risk before behaviors escalate.

 

depressed teenSuicide is the third-leading cause of death for teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, a University of Missouri public health expert has identified factors that will help parents, medical professionals, and educators recognize teens at risk for self-injury and suicide.

“For many young people, suicide represents an escape from unbearable situations—problems that seem impossible to solve or negative emotions that feel overwhelming,” said Lindsay Taliaferro, an assistant professor of health sciences at MU. “Adults can help these teens dissect their problems, help them develop healthful coping strategies, and facilitate access to mental health care so their problems don’t seem insurmountable.”

Taliaferro analyzed data from the 2007 Minnesota Student Survey to pinpoint factors associated with self-injury. More than 60,000 Minnesota high school students completed the survey that assessed their health behaviors. Of those who completed the survey, more than 4,000 teens reported injuring themselves in the past year. Nearly half of those who reported self-injury also had attempted suicide.

“Of the teens who engaged in non-suicidal self injury, hopelessness was a prominent factor that differentiated those who attempted suicide from those who did not have a history of suicide attempts,” Taliaferro said.

Parents, teachers, and medical professionals sometimes avoid talking to teens about self-harm because they aren’t sure how to help, Taliaferro said.

“Adults don’t need to solve all the teens’ problems, but they should let the teens know they have safe persons they can talk to,” Taliaferro said. “Sometimes just talking about their feelings allows young people to articulate what they’re going through and to feel understood, which can provide comfort.”

Taliaferro recommends that parents strengthen connections with their teens and help foster connections between their children and other positive adult influences.

“One of the most important protective factors against teens engaging in self-injury was parent connectedness, and, for females, connections with other pro-social adults also were associated with reduced likelihood of engaging in self injury,” Taliaferro said. “Parents are extremely valuable influences in their children’s lives.”

Although parents play influential roles in teens’ lives, Taliaferro said mental health professionals are the best resources for troubled teens. Medical professionals, such as primary care physicians, can also serve crucial roles by identifying teens that self injure and referring them to community support systems and mental health specialists before their behaviors escalate, Taliaferro said.

The Department of Health Sciences is part of the MU School of Health Professions. Taliaferro’s study, “Factors Distinguishing Youth Who Report Self-Injurious Behavior: A Population-Based Sample,” was published in Academic Pediatrics. She collaborated with researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Minnesota and the Pennsylvania State University.

Also see:

Ask The Expert: Does My Child Have Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Therapy Is Not 'One Size Fits All'

Why Are Children on the Autism Spectrum Easy Targets for Bullies?

 


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More News & Tips: Health Articles

Fresh Meadows Urgent Care Center Adds Dental Office

8 Things to Know About Summer and Senior Citizens
12 Things to Consider When Buying Sunglasses
Tips for Treating Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
Q&A with Tina Traster, Mother of an Adopted Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local News & Tips: Health Sponsors

Swim And Scuba
490 Sunrise Hwy
Rockville Centre , NY
516-872-4571
Does your child love the water? If your answer is...

MATTY ROXX
Serving New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania
917-830-ROXX (7699)
Make your child's birthday party or event special ...

Karma Kids Yoga
104 W. 14th St. (bet. Sixth & Seventh avenues)
New York, NY
646-638-1444
At Karma Kids Yoga studio children are encouraged ...

Accurate Floor Services
70 Western Hwy
Tappan, New York
914-643-1088
At Accurate floor service we specialize in refinis...

Silver Stars Gymnastics
629 East 25A
East Setauket, NY
631-444-0800
...
See Our News & Tips: Health Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE