This is an example of how at-risk teen behavior can get the wrong kind of reinforcement online, but the Internet can also be a means of earlier detection – if parents and friends find out where on the Net a teen is getting that reinforcement. Experts say increasing numbers of teens are discussing self-injury on the Web and forming "cutting clubs" at school. The trend is "prompting many to try it who might not otherwise have known about it," the New York Times reports. "There are no exact numbers for this largely hidden problem, but anonymous surveys among college students suggest that 17% of them have self-injured, and experts estimate that self-injury is practiced by 15% of the general adolescent population." The behavior is a way of turning emotional pain on oneself and can be addictive. "Experts theorize that it may be reinforced by the release in the brain of opioidlike endorphins that result in a natural high and emotional relief," according to the Times. The support or validation found in cutting groups online or at school can also help perpetuate self-injury. Please see the article for information on detection and treatment.
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- About our strange way of understanding teen sexting
- Zooming in on ‘screentime’ (this time with more precision)
- Protecting student privacy calls for student participation
- So-called Snapchat hack & the question of where to place trust
- Why defining ‘bullying’ is important for schools
- Does digital downtime fix FOMO?
- Powerful lessons for preventing bullying & cyberbullying
- Mobile rules in the US now too
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Digital Trust Foundation seeking proposals regarding online privacy, safety and security
- Why cybersecurity is patriotic and humanistic
- National Cyber Security Month: Why cyber security matters to everyone
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech