General Article Self-harm: information and suggestions for school staff

Topic Selected: Self-harm and Suicide
This article is 7 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

Risk factors for self-harm behaviour

Any of the following risk factors may make a young person vulnerable to self-harm:

Individual factors

  • low mood/anxiety
  • an existing psychological or developmental difficulty (e.g. Asperger syndrome, learning difficulty)
  • difficulty communicating
  • low self-esteem
  • poor problem-solving skills
  • hopelessness
  • impulsivity
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • confusion about sexuality or feeling different/unaccepted (e.g. if gay, lesbian or bisexual).

Family factors

  • unreasonable expectations
  • religious/ethnicity/cultural identity dilemmas or conflict
  • young carers’ role within the family
  • domestic violence
  • neglect or abuse (physical, sexual or emotional)
  • poor parental relationships and arguments
  • depression, deliberate self-harm or suicide in the family.

Social factors

  • difficulty in making relationships/loneliness
  • persistent bullying or peer rejection
  • racism
  • homophobic attitudes or bullying of children who think they may be gay, lesbian or bis...

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for an immediate no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection