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Teenagers whose friends self-harm are more likely to self-harm.


Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Drug use by friends, low self-esteem, and higher levels of anxiety are all associated with self-harm in teenagers. Having a friend who has self-harmed is one of the most common factors in cases of self-harm among teenagers in Ireland, research has found. Drug use by friends is another common factor, while among girls, low self-esteem, problems keeping friends and conflicts with parents are also associated with self-harm. Having a family member who had engaged in self-harm, and forced sexual activity are also key factors for girls. Self-harm among boys is significantly increased among teenagers with higher levels of anxiety and impulsivity, problems with schoolwork, and having experienced bullying at school. For teenage boys who had been bullied, other risk factors which increased the risk of self-harm were worries about sexual orientation, physical abuse, and problems with school work. The factors were revealed in a study carried out in Ireland and six other countries on self-harm in 15-17 year olds, which looked at more than 3,000 young people in Ireland



Rights: Public
Suggested citation: (2013) Teenagers whose friends self-harm are more likely to self-harm. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th June 2019].


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