Adolescents who self-injure

Academic Article


  • Children and adolescents engage in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) at a much higher frequency than parents and caregivers may estimate. This form of self-injury has long been distinguished from suicide, with distinct risk factors and comorbidities for each behavior. Although the outcome of NSSI is less devastating than suicide, adolescents who self-injure are suffering. Adolescents live and move within a particular context and view the world from a unique developmental perspective. Treatment should proceed from alliance with the patient and an understanding of the context in which he/she lives. Modifiable risk factors have been identified and several treatments are shown to reduce frequency of self-injury. Some interventions have been shown to actually increase distress. Nurses are in a position to identify adolescents who self-injure and connect the whole family system to appropriate effective intervention.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Durand SC; McGuinness TM
  • Start Page

  • 26
  • End Page

  • 29
  • Volume

  • 54
  • Issue

  • 4