Shelley James

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, (Doctor of Clinical Psychology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Has Cutting Become Cool? Normalising, Social Influence and Socially-Motivated Deliberate Self-Harm in Adolescent Girls

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms James investigated the normalisation of deliberate self-harm in adolescent girls and also explored whether social factors influenced the motivation to engage in self-harm. Results showed that there was no one reason for engaging in deliberate self-harm but that a self-perception of vulnerability and low levels of parent influence were more common among those who self-harmed. Socially-motivated self-harmers did not harm exclusively for social reasons, were more susceptible to peer pressure and endorsed higher levels of normalisation of self-harm than did other self-harmers. While deliberate self-harm was not normalised or considered “cool”, neither was it solely the domain of the disenfranchised or those with serious mental health problems.

Associate Professor Richard Fletcher
Associate Professor Heather Kempton