Primary school children and self harm:the emotional impact upon education professionals, and their understandings of why children self harm and how this is managed

Simm, Rebecca and Roen, Katrina and Daiches, Anna (2010) Primary school children and self harm:the emotional impact upon education professionals, and their understandings of why children self harm and how this is managed. Oxford Review of Education, 36 (6). pp. 677-692. ISSN 0305-4985

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Abstract

There is evidence suggesting that self harm among young people is beginning earlier, in childhood and adolescent years. This paper reports on a qualitative study of primary school staff responses to self harm among children. Some studies with adolescents show self harm presents challenges to education professionals who may lack training or resources to address this issue, yet research concerning self harm among primary school children is limited. The present study provides an analysis of education professionals’ experiences and understandings of self harm in primary school children. Interviews with 15 staff members from six schools in the North of England were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Key themes discussed concern: how self harm affects staff emotionally; reasons staff ascribe to children’s self harming; how self harm is managed. The present study indicates problems associated with a ‘fire‐fighting’ approach where self harm is only dealt with as it becomes visible. Instead, the authors advocate policy‐level initiatives proactively addressing self harm, as has happened in sex and drug education. Intervention around self harm in schools could usefully broaden staff members’ understandings of self harm, allow opportunity for reflection and discussion, and make resources available to staff working with children who self harm.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Oxford Review of Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3304
Subjects:
ID Code:
67857
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 Dec 2013 09:46
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Jan 2020 08:44