Internet - en smittspridare för självskadebeteende?
En enkätstudie bland gymnasieelever i Kristianstads kommun

  • Helena Sjölander
  • Cecilia Svensson

    Student thesis: Bachelor


    The mental health status has improved in the overall population recent years although it is still worrying many young people who feel that they have a poor psychological health. A phenomenon that has increased recently, and are linked to mental illness, are various forms of self-injury acts. It has previously been shown that other types of risk behaviours spread in populations by individuals influenced by each other. The background of this study was to examine whether the increase in selfinjury acts can be the result of a form of contagion, rather than merely a sign of impaired mental health. Since a lot of young people's social life takes place on the Internet, this was the arena which was investigated. The study is based on a survey (n = 192) and was designed to examine how well young people were aware of the phenomenon of self-injury, and how they communicated with and how they were influenced by their friends. The results showed that more than half of the participants had been in contact with self-injury such as pictures or written messages on the Internet. Among the respondents 86% of the girls and 71% of the boys also knew at least one person who deliberately harmed themselves. Since adolescents are exposed to this behaviour from many directions, it is reasonable to assume that individuals who experience some form of mental stress may be influenced by others to try self-destructive behaviour. The behaviour seems to be more prevalent than would be expected if a severer mental illness was the solely cause. Early work on self-esteem and ensuring children and young people have a safe social network around them can be a way to provide them with the resilience needed to withstand the negative influences from their surroundings.

    Date of Award2010-Jul-12
    Original languageSwedish
    SupervisorIngemar Andersson (Supervisor), Göran Ejlertsson (Examiner) & Elisabet Malmström (Examiner)

    University credits

    • 30 HE credits

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)
    • Medical and Health Sciences (3)


    • youth
    • mental illness
    • self-injury
    • contagious behavior
    • internet
    • youth cultures

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