This study explores the extent of digital self-harm among adolescents. The findings showed that boys were more likely to report digital self-harm, and the risk of digital self-harm was three times higher among non-heterosexual youths and 12 times higher among those who were cyberbullying victims. Only a small number of students have anonymously posted something online about themselves that was mean. Males were significantly more likely to report participation than females. Other factors found to be involved in self-harm included sexual orientation, experience with school bullying and cyberbullying, drug use, participation in various forms of adolescent deviance, and depressive symptoms. Importance of this research shows that digital self-harm is a new problem that demands additional scholarly attention. A deeper inquiry as to the motivations behind this behavior, and how it correlates to offline self-harm and suicidal ideation, can help direct mental health professionals toward informed prevention approaches.
Patchin, J. W., & Hinduja, S. (2017). Digital self-harm among adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 61(6), 761-766.