Upsurge in self-harming behavior among teenage girls, British study suggests

upsurge in self harming behavior among teenage girls british study suggests

A recent UK-based studies found that self-harming behavior are more prominent in teenage girls than boys and there is a constant rise in this behavior among teen girls. The study also indicated a strong connection between self-harm practices of burning and cutting oneself, and higher suicide risk.

The researchers examined the records of almost 9000 patients, aged between 10 to 19, who self-harmed themselves between the years, 2001 to 2014. They also compared this data with 1,70,000 kids, who did not self-harm; considering factors like gender and age.

The rate of self-harm was three times higher in girls than boys and this rate increased to 68% among girls, aged 13 to 16, between 2011 and 2014. The self-harm practice was also observed to be more in children from the poorest areas.

The research further indicated that children who self-harm are on nine times higher risk of committing suicide and death from alcohol or drug poisoning.


Common mental health issues in girls of this age group could a possible cause high self-harm rate among girls. Some biological processes like start of beginning activity and onset of puberty might be other causes of such behavior, as per the lead author, Cathy Morgan of the University of Manchester.

The researchers pointed that there is a rise in the cases of mental health disorders among teens, which forces them to lead a stressful life.

The study authors suggested to prioritize the need for integrated care, involving schools, families and health care provision. This would instill a sense of safety among distressed teens in a short duration, and ensure their wellbeing and mental health in future.