Your cuts are just as important as anyone else's': Individuals' online discussions of self-injury
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McVittie, C., Goodall, K. & McFarlane, S. (2009) Your cuts are just as important as anyone else's': Individuals' online discussions of self-injury, Health Psychology Update, vol. 18, pp. 03-Jul.
Although self-injury is a relatively common behaviour, the meanings of such behaviour for those who engage in it remain poorly understood. Here we report findings from an exploratory study of how contributors negotiate self-injury in the context of online discussion forums. Data come from forums identified through use of internet search engines. Contributors' postings to discussion threads on these forums were analysed using discourse analysis. Within discussion threads, contributors construct self-injury as positive, either in itself or in certain forms, rather than negative or harmful behaviour. These constructions present challenges for health promotion initiatives. More research is needed into how descriptions of self-injury are bound up with negotiations of individual identities.