Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Advisor 1

Christopher A. Kearney, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Jeffery M. Kern

Second Committee Member

Christopher L. Heavey

Graduate Faculty Representative

Michelle Chino

Number of Pages

166

Abstract

Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is self-inflicted physical injury without suicidal intent. Recent studies indicated that more adolescent males engage in DSH than previously identified. Research demonstrated that DSH is common in forensic settings and highly correlated with several mental health disorders. This study included 103 adjudicated male adolescents assessed for DSH and mental health concerns. Twenty-two participants with DSH history and 21 controls were interviewed about coping skills, mental health problems, and DSH functions. Results indicated that 66%, especially African American and Hispanic participants, reported DSH history. Participants with DSH history reported more aggression, emotional lability, alienation/boredom, and internalizing disorders but had poorer social adaptation. The DSH group reported greater use of healthy and unhealthy coping skills. DSH was used to regulate affect, self-punish, and manage dissociation.

Keywords

Adjudicated; Boys; Coping skills; Juveniles; Male; Mental health disorders; Self-harm; Self-injury; Self-mutilation

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology

Language

English


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