If not treated in high school, cutting remains a problem in college

June 6th, 2006 by Key Magazine

For the last few years, high school guidance counselors have been asked to address the self-abusing practice of cutting. Mostly believed to be a behavior displayed in disturbed or troubled teens, many colleges and universities are now reporting a culture of cutting on their campuses.

Cnn.com reports that, “nearly 1 in 5 students at two Ivy League schools say they have purposely injured themselves by cutting, burning or other methods, a disturbing phenomenon that psychologists say they are hearing about more often.”

Guidance counselors have been reporting increased numbers of cutting in colleges, high schools and middle schools across the nation.

The latest prevalence estimate comes from an analysis of responses from 2,875 randomly selected male and female undergraduates and graduate students at Cornell and Princeton who completed an Internet-based mental health survey.

Seventeen percent said they had purposely injured themselves; among those, 70 percent had done so multiple times. The estimate is comparable to previous reports on U.S. adolescents and young adults, but slightly higher than studies of high school students in Australia and the United Kingdom.

The study appears in this month’s issue of Pediatrics. Cornell psychologist Janis Whitlock, the study’s main author, also led the Web site research, published in April in Developmental Psychology.

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