Rates of Self-Harm Among Teen Girls Are Skyrocketing
A new report on self-harm among boys and girls in the United Kingdom is filled with data that should give parents pause. But none is more alarming than this statistic: in a period of just three years (2011 to 2014) incidence of reported self-harm increased a staggering 68 percent among girls ages 13 to 16. Self-harm among young people between 10 and 19 was three times more common among girls than boys, and those who self-harm are known to be at greater risk of suicide than young people who do not engage in this behavior.
Nav Kapur, professor of psychiatry at the University of Manchester and a co-author of the study, published in the British Medical Journal, told the Guardian, “One of the big messages here is that self-harm is complex. "It is about schools, it is about families, it is about health professionals [and] teachers all working together trying to tackle the problem."
Kapur and his colleagues examined data from more than 670 general practitioners across the UK to dig into rates of self-harm among young people between 10 and 19. Researchers acknowledge that they're not certain what is driving the evident rise in self-harm, but numerous studies indicate that a growing number of young women, in particular, are experiencing mental health problems. Kapur's team also noted that the explosive growth of social media and the availability of self-harm-related content online could play a part in the findings.