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Title: Parents finding out : young people's experiences of parents' responses to self-harm
Author: Blackwell, C. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 5311
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2005
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This study explores young people's experiences of their parents' responses to self-harm. Particular focus is given to the process of parents' discovering and responding to self-harm. The impact of parents' responses upon adolescents is also considered. Eight participants, aged between 14 and 18, took part in a semi-structured interview about parents' responses to self-harm. Participants reported a history of self-harm, with at least one episode taking place within the last year. Methods of self-harm described by the young people included burning, bruising and overdosing. All participants reported a history of self-cutting. Participants were recruited through inpatient and outpatient mental health services. Data was analysed using a grounded theory approach. Analysis led to the conceptualisation of a model illustrating parents' discovery of and responses to self-harm. Particularly, the model included young people's descriptions of hiding self-harm from parents in order to avoid being found out. Once parents had discovered the self-harm, their responses were perceived to vary broadly. Adolescents described a range of preferred responses and placed a particular emphasis upon those, which did not involve negative emotions. Such responses appeared to increase the likelihood that young people would discuss self-harm with parents in the future. Adolescents also described how parents contacted mental health services on their behalf. This led to positive and negative experiences, which also influenced the extent of information sharing by young people in the future. The conceptualised model is considered with regard to the literature. A number of professional implications and recommendations for future research are highlighted. Professional recommendations include the need to explore young people's idiosyncratic needs when supporting them with self-harm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available