The punished self, the unknown self, and the harmed self: towards a more nuanced understanding of self-harm in adolescence Submitted
Appears in the following Collection
- Psykologisk institutt 
AbstractDuring the transitional age of adolescence, some – often girls – begin self-harming. A better understanding of their subjective experience of self-harm may reveal their sense of self and inform treatment adjustments. A meta-synthesis of 20 qualitative studies highlighted self-harm as attempts to: 1) obtain release, 2) control feelings, 3) represent unaccepted feelings, and 4) connect with others. Personal interviews with 21 adolescents (12-18 years of age) at an out-patient clinic showed how self-harm through body language both represents and communicates personal needs and problems, while at the same being kept “private”, so as not to be a burden to others. This study of multiple clinical cases indicates diverse pathways into and out of self-harm. Self-harm was related to: 1) self-criticism, 2) diffuse stress, or 3) trauma. They appreciated finding their own way out – through self-supporting monologues, coping-strategies, or by receiving support – thus demonstrating a need for autonomy. There seems to be three sub-types with different self-states during self-harming: 1) “I deserve it” (the punished self), 2) “I don’t want to feel anything” (the unknown self), and 3) “I’m harmed, and no one cares” (the harmed self).
List of papers
|Article 1: Stänicke, L. I., Haavind, H., & Gullestad, S. E. (2018). How do young people understand their own self-harm? A meta-synthesis of adolescents’ subjective experience of their own selfharm. Adolescent Research Review, 3(2), 173-191. doi:10.1007/s40894-018-0080-9. The article is included in the thesis. Also available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40894-018-0080-9|
|Article 2: Stänicke, L. I., Haavind, H., Rø, F. G., & Gullestad, S. E. (2019). Discovering One’s Own Way: Adolescent Girls’ Different Pathways Into and Out of Self-Harm. Journal of Adolescent Research. doi:10.1177/0743558419883360. The paper is included in the thesis. The article is available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558419883360|
|Article 3: Stänicke, L. I. (submitted). Sub-types in self-states during self-harm: A qualitative study of adolescent girls in a clinical sample. To be published. The paper is not available in DUO awaiting publishing.|