More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Self-Cutting Practiced at Ivy League Schools
June 5, 2006

Nearly one in five students who completed a mental-health survey at two Ivy League colleges said they deliberately injured themselves as a way to relieve stress or cry out for emotional help, the Associated Press reported.

Seventeen percent of 2,875 respondents at Cornell University and Princeton University said they purposely hurt themselves, the wire service reported. Of those, 70 percent said they had engaged in the practice more than once. Results of the survey are published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Counselors cited by the AP said self-injury -- including self-cutting and self-burning -- is practiced at colleges, high schools, and middle schools across the United States. Separate research has found more than 400 Web sites devoted to the practice, the wire service said.

Repeat self-abusers are more likely to be female, to have an eating disorder, and to be suicidal, according to the study's main author, Cornell psychologist Janis Whitlock. She said she is among researchers who believe that people who self-abuse are fueled by the release of "feel-good" endorphin hormones that are produced in response to pain. But this "high" is frequently followed by deep shame and injuries that often require medical treatment.

School psychologists noted there is often one instigator who prompts other sympathetic, yet less troubled friends to self-abuse in tandem, the wire service said.
Dr. Baxter,
that seems high compared to the national percentage...has there been any research about if it is more prevalent during college years and does the fact that the school is Ivy league have anything to do with the high percentage...I'm just curious on this study (psychology is going to be my minor in college in the fall)

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
1. I'm not sure it IS really higher than the national average - one comment that has been made is that this was an anonymous survey and people who are unlikely to admit it in person may be willing to admit it anonymously.

2. If it turns out that it is indeed higher than the national average, i would guess that it might have something to do with higher than average pressures to achieve, either self-imposed or based on expectations of family members and others, among the Ivy League students.
in those schools are there manypsychologists or educators to help the students deal cause well seeing :yikes: the study results it is quite alarming and well would it not be best to impose more help for the student to help them deal with pressure and everything that goes on in that school..
yours truly ashley-kate

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Usually, there is help available, Ashley. But of course the person has to be willing to disclose a problem and to want help or none of that matters.

If the individual is still trying to hide the problem or doesn't yet want to change, you can't force them into therapy.
I'm starting school in the fall at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh PA :D which is by no means an Ivy League school but I was accepted to Columbia and Franklin and Marshall(which is almost Ivy League) and both of those schools have help on campus for individuals struggling with personal issues...I actually only applied to schools that had counseling on campus b/c that is going to be critical for me....anyway among many other reasons I choose Duquesne is b/c I can meet with a licensed psychologist on campus every week and it is included in my tuition...also Duquesne University sees mental illnesses like being Bi-polar (like me) as a disease and will help you work w/ your professors...also there is a psychiatrist that visits campus once a I feel pretty good about all that info :)...after I signed some stuff my current psychologist was able to send some chart stuff out to my school to get things is really awesome how at least some schools are treating kids with emotional problems and mental illnesses these days :roll:....I don't feel alone going out there :rolleyes: (it's about three and a half hours from my house)


I am really proud of you Kels for taking the necessary steps for when you go to university. Good for you !!! :)



i can only echo all the others here and say well done and congrats on the work u have done in not only choosing which one, (that will meet your needs) but getting in to uni in the 1st place.

Nice one :))
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