Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MU Researcher Identifies Factors to Help Parents and Professionals Recognize Teens in Distress

05.10.2012
Youths who harm themselves should be connected with positive adult influences and mental health services before behaviors escalate
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, a University of Missouri public health expert has identified factors that will help parents, medical professionals and educators recognize teens at risk for self injury and suicide.

“For many young people, suicide represents an escape from unbearable situations—problems that seem impossible to solve or negative emotions that feel overwhelming,” said Lindsay Taliaferro, an assistant professor of health sciences at MU. “Adults can help these teens dissect their problems, help them develop healthful coping strategies, and facilitate access to mental health care so their problems don’t seem insurmountable.”

Taliaferro analyzed data from the 2007 Minnesota Student Survey to pinpoint factors associated with self injury. More than 60,000 Minnesota high school students completed the survey that assessed their health behaviors. Of those who completed the survey, more than 4,000 teens (roughly the same size as the student bodies at two large high schools) reported injuring themselves in the past year. Nearly half of those who reported self injury also had attempted suicide.

“Of the teens who engaged in non-suicidal self injury, hopelessness was a prominent factor that differentiated those who attempted suicide from those who did not have a history of suicide attempts,” Taliaferro said.

Parents, teachers and medical professionals sometimes avoid talking to teens about self harm because they aren’t sure how to help, Taliaferro said.

“Adults don’t need to solve all the teens’ problems, but they should let the teens know they have safe persons they can talk to,” Taliaferro said. “Sometimes just talking about their feelings allows young people to articulate what they’re going through and to feel understood, which can provide comfort.”

Taliaferro recommends that parents strengthen connections with their teens and help foster connections between their children and other positive adult influences.

“One of the most important protective factors against teens engaging in self injury was parent connectedness, and, for females, connections with other prosocial adults also were associated with reduced likelihood of engaging in self injury,” Taliaferro said. “Parents are extremely valuable influences in their children’s lives.”

Although parents play influential roles in teens’ lives, Taliaferro said mental health professionals are the best resources for troubled teens. Medical professionals, such as primary care physicians, can also serve crucial roles by identifying teens who self injure and referring them to community support systems and mental health specialists before their behaviors escalate, Taliaferro said.

The Department of Health Sciences is part of the MU School of Health Professions. Taliaferro’s study, “Factors Distinguishing Youth Who Report Self-Injurious Behavior: A Population-Based Sample,” was published in Academic Pediatrics. She collaborated with researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Minnesota and the Pennsylvania State University.

Jesslyn Chew | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>