Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 306–314 | Cite as

Preventing Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Adolescents: The Signs of Self-Injury Program

  • Jennifer J. MuehlenkampEmail author
  • Barent W. Walsh
  • Moira McDade
Empirical Research


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) continues to be a problem among youth and there is a great need for programming aimed at reducing NSSI in adolescents. The signs of self-injury program is the first known NSSI school-based prevention program for adolescents that attempts to increase knowledge, improve help-seeking attitudes and behaviors, and decrease acts of NSSI. A total of five schools implemented the program in selected classrooms (n = 274 adolescents; 51.5% female, mean age = 16.07 years) that consisted of predominantly Caucasian (73%) adolescents. Researchers collected pre-post evaluation surveys of the program and feasibility interviews were conducted with the school guidance personnel who ran the program. Results indicated the prevention program did not produce iatrogenic effects, increased accurate knowledge and improved help-seeking attitudes and intentions among students. No significant changes were found in regards to self-reported formal help-seeking actions. Feasibility responses indicate the program is user-friendly and well received by school personnel. The data offer preliminary evidence that the program may be an effective prevention program for schools.


Non-suicidal self-injury Adolescents Prevention Deliberate self-harm High-school 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barent W. Walsh
    • 2
  • Moira McDade
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, 227 Hibbard HallUniversity of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireEau ClaireUSA
  2. 2.The Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Inc.WorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Screening for Mental Health, Inc.Wellesley HillsUSA

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