Self-Harm in Adolescence as Maladaptive Coping
Keywords:self-harm, adolescence, prevalence, forms
Psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and other associated professions, as well as the public from all over Europe have noticed the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. In this regard, adolescents appear to be a highly vulnerable group, which is more affected than adults and children in many aspects. This study focuses on a specific and extremely maladaptive way of coping with mental stress and problems – deliberate self-harm. It offers an epidemiological study of the prevalence of self-harm among Slovak youths, its forms and related variables, carried out on a sample of 2,280 adolescents aged 11 – 19 using the SHI questionnaire. The results reveal that within the overall prevalence of 45.2%, the most vulnerable group are girls from non-traditional families who began to self-harm at an early age. The most frequent forms of self-harm among adolescents were torturing with self-defeating thoughts, followed by both direct and indirect forms of physical self-harm. An analysis of the willingness to disclose self-harming behaviour shows that the need to raise awareness of this behaviour should be mostly oriented towards adolescents.
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