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Title: Self-harm in a youth offending population
Author: Haughton, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 3831
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2016
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The thesis investigates self-harm in a youth offending population, with particular focus on the coping strategies and levels of rumination utilised by these individuals. Chapter one provides an overview of the topic of self-harm, coping strategies and rumination in a youth offending population. Chapter two reviews the literature of coping strategies and levels of rumination in adolescents who self-harm following a systematic approach. The review highlighted there were inconsistencies in the definition used to describe self-harm, some studies included suicide attempts and included overdoses whereas other studies did not. A number of studies included behaviours irrespective of the intent to die, whereas others specified there should be no intent to die. These differences hinder the ability to make links between studies as well as ensuring that research is comparable throughout. Chapter two highlighted the limited research focusing on coping strategies and self-harm in youth offenders, with the majority of included studies using school based samples. Risk factors for self-harm were identified as psychological distress, rumination, poor problem solving, low self-esteem and limited social support. Chapter three investigated coping strategies and levels of rumination in a smaller subset of youth offenders. This highlighted that youth offenders who self-harmed utilised more emotion-focused coping styles such as: substance use, behavioural disengagement, denial and self-blame than youth offenders who did not self-harm. Difficulties identifying youth offenders who self-harmed was evident in the small sample size for the study. Chapter four involved a larger sample based on file information to aide identification of youth offenders who self-harmed. This research looked at identifying any differences between youth offenders who did and did not self-harm based on the ASSET (a risk and need assessment completed with all young people who come into contact with the youth offending team). These differences were utilised to inform a checklist of risk factors for males engaging in self-harm in a youth offending population which youth offending practitioners can use to identify those males at risk. The incidents of self-harm amongst male youth offenders was 4 cases in every 10 referrals (39.6%) and 69.5% of this group were correctly predicted (hits). The small number of female youth offenders who did not self-harm was evident in both chapter three and chapter four, highlighting that being a female youth offender in itself is a risk factor for self- harm. Chapter five described a single case study with a male youth offender who self-harmed and the difficulties in engaging this population in interventions. Chapter six is a critique of the ASSET used in chapter three, four and five. Chapter six describes the implications of the ASSET for practice and gives recommendations for future research in this area. Chapter seven gives a conclusion to the thesis, drawing together important implications for future research and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Foren.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available