Cutting to cope - a modern adolescent phenomenon

B. Hall, Maurice Place

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background - The frequency of young people cutting themselves appears to be increasing, with one review estimating the current prevalence across the UK to be between 1 in 12 and 1 in 15.
Aim - To identify factors that are associated with self-harm by cutting, and more especially coping strategies that if encouraged might reduce such behaviour.
Method - Multivariate and exploratory factor analysis were used to analyse the results from a survey of the pupils attending four large comprehensive schools in the North of England where the frequency of cutting behaviour was causing concern.
Results - Three factors were identified from the analysis – Social & Active Coping, Seeking External Solutions and Non-Productive Coping. The Social & Active Coping was the only factor that significantly correlated with non-cutting behaviour.
Conclusions - The fostering of the elements that make up Social & Active Coping – namely working successfully and feeling a sense of achievement, together with positive friendship networks and positive diversions, including physical recreation, will help to minimize young people's sense of needing to cope by cutting themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-629
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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