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MS in Special Education




Self-harm and self-injurious behavior is a widespread problem among female adolescents. Self-injurious behaviors are a dangerous coping strategy used by many female adolescents who lack in the primary needs for managing feelings and coping mechanisms. Although several of these adolescents share an association with diagnoses of traumatic childhood experiences, major depression, alcohol/drug use/abuse, and/or other recognized mental illnesses, the act of self-harm or self-injurious behaviors is not recognized as an isolated mental disorder by the 4th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Thus, self-harm or self-injurious behaviors continue to remain a problem that is often a silent, and sometimes, deadly behavior among today’s female adolescents. The research conducted surrounded the belief that female adolescents either go undiagnosed with regard to self-harm or self-injurious behaviors or are wrongly diagnosed and that the behavior of self-harm is often combined into categories of Emotional Disturbance. Self-injurious behaviors are not socially acceptable behaviors and therefore, many preconceived notions compromise the treatment of the adolescents. In a review of literature, and surveys of young female adolescents who engage in this behavior, the researcher will conclude that these identified behaviors in females must be acknowledged both by educators, families, and society.

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