Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Stress Can Make Kids Hurt Themselves

According to a recent survey, 1 in 4 kids hurt themselves due to stress. 875 middle school children were polled recently about how they handle stress. When stressed or upset, ¼ admitted to hurting themselves on purpose. The 9-13 year olds admitted to doing such things as banging their head against a wall or pinching themselves. With emotions being so strong, it can become overwhelming and they don’t know how to handle it. They usually blame themselves and hurt themselves as a way to tae it out on tem. Although this is not a healthy coping mechanism, it occurs in a significant percent of children. Kids who hurt themselves were also more likely than those who did not to say they lose their temper, keep their troubles to themselves, feel bad about themselves, and were less likely to try to work things out. This suggests that certain teens have a tendency toward poor coping skills and need help developing effective ways to cope with stress and manage their emotions.
Things that can stress out a teen include grades, school, homework, getting along with siblings, worries about problems at home, peer group issues, bullies, and friends.
The poll did find that they used other ways of coping, such as watching TV or playing videos. Theses ranked the highest. Teens feel that the most important thing parents can do is to talk to them about their problems. Though they usually don’t want to bring up problem to their parents, they say they would like talking about them if they were asked.

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