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Do Internet self-harm discussion groups alleviate or exacerbate self-harming behaviour?

Murray, Craig and Fox, Jezz (2006) Do Internet self-harm discussion groups alleviate or exacerbate self-harming behaviour? Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH), 5 (3). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1446-7984

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Abstract

The Internet has proved a popular medium for persons with a variety of health-related complaints to provide one another with information and mutual support. However, although there are currently hundreds of Internet discussion groups dedicated to the issue of self-harm, there is disagreement as to whether these groups exacerbate or help alleviate self-harming behaviour. The present study sought to explore possible positive and negative aspects of membership of a self-harm discussion group. Members of one self-harm discussion group (n=102) completed a web-based questionnaire. The findings indicated that the majority of respondents viewed the discussion group as having positive effects, with many respondents reducing the frequency and severity of their self-harming behaviour as a consequence of group membership. Future work needs to address how typical the present findings are for Internet self-harm groups in general, and whether these groups are of any more (or less) benefit than current self-harm support groups that meet face-to-face.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Internet ; on-line ; discussion group ; mental health ; self-harm ; self-injury
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 26097
Deposited By: Dr Craig Murray
Deposited On: 17 Mar 2009 08:42
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:29
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/26097

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