An exploration of families’ experiences of young people’s self-harm

Tattersdill, Lucy Rose

Clinical psychology
July 2021

Thesis or dissertation

© 2021 Lucy Rose Tattersdill. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This portfolio thesis consists of three parts. Part one is a systematic literature review and part two is an empirical paper. Taken together they provide a greater understanding of the experiences of young people’s self-harm amongst parents and families. Part three forms the appendices.
Part One: A systematic literature review of parents’ experiences and understandings of self- harm amongst young people in the United Kingdom. The review identified ten articles and completed a narrative synthesis, which identified six themes. The review demonstrated the impact of self-harm on parents and the potential influence of parents in supporting their child with self-harm. It emphasised the importance of thinking and working systemically with self- harm and highlighted the need to challenge negative societal discourses regarding self-harm. Part Two: An empirical study exploring family experiences of adolescent self-harm within the context of having received a systemic family intervention. Four families (n = 8) completed non-directive interviews that were analysed using narrative analysis. The study found that significant life events precipitate self-harm, which is a significant cause of stress and difficulty amongst families. Different experiences of help-seeking were reported, but all families experienced a turning point associated with receiving a systemic family intervention and with changes within the family’s wider context. Implications of the research and areas for future research are discussed.
Part Three: Appendices relating to the systematic literature review and empirical paper, including all relevant documentation, a reflective statement and an epistemological statement.

Department of Psychological Health, Wellbeing and Social Work, The University of Hull
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