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Self-harm and sense of belonging in school, HBSC research from England

New research from the HBSC research team in England (University of Hertfordshire) reveals that young people who don't feel a sense of belonging to their school are around seven times more likely to self-harm than those who feel strongly attached to it.

The research, published in the IJPH, has highlighted the extent to which experiences of school, local community and relationships with parents can decrease self-harming behaviour. 

Other findings include:

  • Neighbourhood belonging: An adolescent who feels a weak connection to their neighbourhood is around three times more likely to self-harm than one who feels a sense of belonging.
  • Parental relationships: Young people who find it difficult to communicate with their mother are around two-and-a-half times more likely to self-harm than those who find it easy. The risk of self-harm is twice as high for adolescents who find it difficult to communicate with their father. 
  • Peer relations: Friendships with other young people were not found to have a significant impact on the likelihood of self-harm among adolescents. 

This latest analysis uses data from the most recent HBSC England survey, which found that more than one in five 15-year-olds said they had self-harmed. The rates of self-harm were nearly three times higher in girls (32%) than boys (11%).

The findings highlight the significance of the concepts belonging and connectedness as important protective health assets for young people. 

Dr Ellen Klemera, Deputy Principal Investigator for the HBSC England team, said: "While our study has uncovered truly worrying levels of self-harm among young people across England, these latest insights present an opportunity to focus attention on the places where the biggest difference can be made.

see here for further details

item 4476
[14-09-2017 to 30-03-2018]


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