Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Mary Lou Kelley
The purpose of this study was to examine the provisional prevalence rates and characteristics of self-mutilative behavior in a community sample of adolescents. A total of 368 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 participated in this investigation. Thirty-nine percent of high school students sampled (n = 143) engaged in self-mutilation within the past year. Commonly endorsed behaviors were biting self, hitting self on purpose, and cutting/carving skin. Self-mutilators were likely to engage in these behaviors to reduce internal tension, as well as to gain attention. Self-mutilators were compared with non-mutilating adolescents (n = 225) on self-report measures of negative self-evaluation, cognitive distortions, social problem-solving capabilities, and suicide ideation. Self-mutilators reported greater negative automatic thoughts and poorer self-worth than non-mutilators. Additionally, self-mutilators were more likely to have made a suicide attempt(s) in the past and reported higher levels of suicide ideation. In multivariate regression analyses, suicide ideation and history of suicide attempt(s) contributed to the prediction of self-mutilative behavior, correctly classifying 71% of the total sample. Clinical implications of the results are discussed in the context of contemporary teenage culture.
Lloyd, Elizabeth Eden, "Self-Mutilation in a Community Sample of Adolescents." (1997). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6546.