Minimizing social contagion in adolescents who self-injure: Considerations for group work, residential treatment, and the Internet.

Brent Richardson, Xavier University - Cincinnati
K A. Surmitis
R S. Hyldahl


Social contagion among adolescents is a growing concern as the numbers of youth who self-injure increases. Mental health counselors face challenges in treating self-injurers in settings that are prone to social contagion. This article describes social contagion as one factor motivating self-harm in group settings, residential facilities, and audiences for social and electronic media. It reviews possible benefits and pitfalls of self-injury treatment in these environments and presents approaches to minimize social contagion. Responses to self-injury and social contagion are explored. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]