Self-harm and secondary school students: The attitudes and understandings of teachers, psychologists and chaplains
McGrath, Diana (2015) Self-harm and secondary school students: The attitudes and understandings of teachers, psychologists and chaplains. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.
Although school staff are on the front line of dealing with adolescent self-harm, very little research has explored their experiences of this concerning behaviour. The aims of this study were to explore the attitudes and understandings of secondary school staff towards student self-harm and identify gaps that may be addressed with training. School psychologists, chaplains and teachers (N=174) completed an on-line survey. In line with expectations, significant differences in attitudes were found between staff groups. In combination, understanding, empathy, and, having appropriate counselling and risk assessment skills, powerfully separated groups, and showed positive correlations with both confidence and effectiveness in managing the behaviour. Contrary to expectations, knowledge of self-harm was not found to be significantly different between groups, nor was it associated with attitudes. Further training to manage the behaviour was requested, is warranted, and should focus on staff response to self-harm, including countering the unfounded and unhelpful notion that self-harm is carried out “for attention.” The internet’s role in introducing and maintaining the behaviour amongst students, and the implementation of school policy around the issue, also require specific consideration.
|Publication Type:||Thesis (Honours)|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Psychology and Exercise Science|
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