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Title: Exploring student views on classroom-based interventions on DSH
Author: Webster, Sophie
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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Background: Due to rising in rates in deliberate self-harm (DSH) and increasing pressure on NHS services, the government is looking to schools to provide a front-line response. Previous adolescents have indicated that more information on distress and alternative ways of coping would be helpful. However, teachers have raised concerns that talking about DSH in schools could lead to an increase in prevalence i.e. contagion. Therefore, this study aimed to explore student's views of a classroom-based intervention on DSH and any potential consequences resulting from this teaching. It hoped to ascertain whether pupils had similar concerns to teachers around contagion following exposure to an intervention. Method: Sixty-one students in England (years 7-10) participated in 11 focus groups which were conducted in three secondary schools. They discussed their thoughts on having teaching on DSH and what the potential consequences of any teaching might be. Only one of the schools already provided teaching on DSH in the classroom and wider school environments, and their ideas appeared to be informed their experiences of this teaching. Results: Two themes emerged from the data which were 'Should we talk openly about DSH?' and 'How to talk to openly about DSH'. Conclusions: The majority of the students within the focus groups expressed a desire to learn about DSH in lessons, with a few expressing concerns about the potential for contagion. All groups discussed ways to reduce the likelihood of contagion occurring. Most felt teaching would have a protective element and reduce DSH. The results indicate teaching on DSH in an open manner in the classroom is warranted, although further research measuring contagion following any intervention would add to the evidence.
Supervisor: John, Mary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral