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Adolescent self-harm in Northern Ireland: Rates, predictors and preventative interventions

Kirby, Karen (2016) Adolescent self-harm in Northern Ireland: Rates, predictors and preventative interventions. In: Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society 60th Anniversary Annual Conference,, Dundalk, Ballyscanlon House Hotel. NIBPS. 1 pp. [Conference contribution]

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Abstract

Dr Karen Kirby (Ulster, School of Psychology), Dr Allison Gillen (University of Suffolk), Emily McGlinchey (Ulster, School of Psychology).Background: Self harm in young people appears to be on the rise, and understanding trends in prevalence rates and the potential range of psychosocial predictors is essential, as the social culture of factors which influence self-harm in young people keep changing (for example, the growing use & impact of social media). Prevention is worth a pound of cure; hence the exploration of novel school based preventative mental health interventions are needed and presented within.Method: Two cross sectional survey’s (study 1, 2014, n-864; study 2, 2016, n- approx. 222), have been conducted in several local schools in the Derry area over the last 4 to 5 years. The surveys investigated first time ‘incidence’ rates of actual self-harm and thoughts of self-harm in children as young as 11 up to 14 years, and also compared prevalence rates of same in older adolescents, age 15-18 years. Predicators of self-harm included a range of extrinsic social and intrinsic psychological factors, including emotional regulation and resilience. A *third study involved a school based pilot programme which developed of a ‘coping and resilience’ video, the aim of which was to offer a preventative intervention to young people; thereby increasing copings skills and overall resilience to prevent the onset self-harming behaviours. *We would like to show a short segment of the video (if time allows).Results and conclusion :In 2014, the lifetime prevalence of self-harm was 12.5% with rates relating to thoughts of self-harm at 18.5% in the older adolescents (15-18years); and 5.1% with serious thoughts of self-harm at 7.9% in 11-14 year olds. When the study was repeated in the same school in 2016, the rate of self-harm in the 11-14 year olds had risen to 11.4% from 5.1% (doubled) with serious thoughts of self-harm rising to 11.2% from 7.9% 2 years earlier.Predictors of self-harm in both year groups and age groups are presented, with bullying, sexual orientation, knowing someone who self-harmed, emotional regulation and resilience coming out stronger than other social or psychological variables; all of which will be presented in more detail, in addition to limitations.Based on the findings, a third and fourth study is underway (*collaborating with Emily McGlinchey, PhD student) examining the direct impact of cyberbullying, social media on predictors of self-harm and whether emotional regulation and resilience can either moderate or mediate these effects, hence supporting preventative interventions.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Speech)
Keywords:Self Harm Rates and Predictors Adolescents Northern Ireland
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Psychology
Research Institutes and Groups:Psychology Research Institute > Health, Education and Well-being
Psychology Research Institute
ID Code:37877
Deposited By: Dr Karen Kirby
Deposited On:30 May 2017 08:40
Last Modified:10 Nov 2017 10:26

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