Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Psychology
Forms of Deliberate Self-Harm and Their Prevalence in Adolescence
Andrej Demuth, Slavka Demuthova
The self-harming behaviour in adolescence as a form of high risk behaviour has recently undergone several changes, which involve three main areas – the prevalence, comorbidity and forms of selfharm. The problem of most studies which have tried to present relevant data with regard to selfharming behaviour is the question of which forms should be included in the study or which forms belong under the notion of self-harm. The ambiguous definition makes it problematic to observe the development of this phenomenon or to compare the data from multiple studies or countries.This study attempts to bring preliminary data related to the prevalence and forms of self-harming behaviour from three perspectives: 1/ self-harm as an intentional self-inflicted damage to the surface of the body, with the expectation that the injury will only lead to minor or moderate physical harm (called “Direct Physical Self-Harm”); 2/ self-harm as an intentional self-inflicted damage to the body, including indirect forms – e.g. through substance abuse (alcohol, medication etc.) or an intervention into the way the organism functions (called “Indirect Physical Self-Harm”);3/ self-harm as any intentional self-inflicted damage to the body or mind of a person, including forms that cause psychological harm (called “Mental Self-Harm”). The study presents the prevalence of self-harming behaviour in the context of three perspectives and discusses the benefits of these views, their risks as well as the stimuli for further research in the area of selfharming behaviour in the adolescent population.
Keywords: Self-harm, prevalence, forms (direct, indirect, mental), adolescence, DSM.