Surge in teen self-harm blights positive survey

NZ Herald 2 August 2013
Deliberate self-harming is reaching epidemic levels among Kiwi teenagers – but the teens say it has become “almost fashionable”.
An Auckland University survey of 8500 students in 91 secondary schools has found that 29.1 per cent of girls harmed themselves deliberately in the year before the survey last year, up from 26 per cent in the previous survey, done in 2007.
The number of boys who harmed themselves also increased, from 15.5 per cent to 17.9 per cent.
The figures contrast with other findings in the survey that are positive. Teenage binge-drinking has almost halved since the first survey in the series in 2001, drink-driving has dropped by a third, regular marijuana smoking has halved and cigarette smoking has almost disappeared, down from 15.5 per cent in 2001 to 4.5 per cent.
Violence and fighting have both dropped by a third. Only 5.3 per cent of students stayed away from school some time in the past month because of bullying, down from 9.5 per cent in 2001.
Even promiscuity is waning. The number of high-school students who have never had sex have increased from 68.7 per cent in 2001 and 63.7 per cent in 2007 to 75.6 per cent, and the number described as currently sexually active dropped from 21.2 per cent and 26 per cent to 18.8 per cent.
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