Report On The Influence Of Online Factors On Young People Who Do Self-Harm

Posted on March 16, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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In the current times, a wide range of factors come into play and influence the individuals that do self-harm (Bennardi et al., 2016). The report has been structured by using two primary research studies that explore the topic relating to self-harm. Both the articles have been carefully selected to get an insight on the online images that encourage such behaviour and the influence of the internet on such vulnerable individuals. A thorough comparison has been carried out between both the articles in this report. 

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Study 1 – The aim of the study by Nina Jacob is to assess the role of the Internet in the self-harm that is caused among the young population of the society. The qualitative research has been carried out here to get a better understanding of how the young and vulnerable people use online images relating to self-harm (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The research article by Marchant and Hawton fundamentally assess the relationship that exists between the level of internet use, self-harm practices and suicidal behaviour among young people. The study explores how in the technology-driven era, the use of the internet is driving young people towards self-harm and self-injury (Marchant et al., 2017). 

The topic relating to self-harm has been selected in the reports as it is one of the major concerns that is threatening the current generation. As per the NHS statistical data, instances of self-harm and suicidal behaviour is on the rise in England. In 2012 there were 17,946 instances of self-harm and suicide attempts were reported but in 2013, the figures had increased to 23,053.  The topic is of importance as it highlights the deterioration of the mental health and wellbeing of the people, especially the youngsters. In the U.K., young people are highly vulnerable emotionally which increases their chances of causing harm to themselves (, 2018). 

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Study 1 – The fundamental purpose of the study is to capture how the online images that are available on the internet, influence the youngsters to harm themselves. On the online platform, people are exposed to various kinds of information in form of texts and images. An individual with a stable mind does not think much of an online image relating to self-harm but it is not so simple for some vulnerable individuals. The study has been used to understand the role of online images and their association with self-harm in youngsters (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The rationale of the article is to explore how the internet is intensifying the scenario relating to self-harm and suicidal behaviour among the young generation of the current times. This study has been made a part of the report as it has systematically reviewed the existing evidence relating to the influence of the internet on the psychological health of the young population (Marchant et al., 2017). 


Study 1 – The study explores various aspects relating to self-harm including the factors that come into play and induce the young population to harm themselves. The main arguments that have been presented are related to the online images that are available on the internet and have a vital impact on the young self-harming people living in Wales, U.K (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

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Study 2 – In the article, a methodical approach has been implemented to understand the exact power of the internet to reshape the mental framework of young people and influence their self-harming behaviour. The data has been used to capture the link between the internet usage and the suicidal attitude or self-harming behaviour among the youngsters (Marchant et al., 2017). 

Findings of the reports

Study 1 – As per the study, the role of the internet is highly vital as it influences the self-harming practices of young individuals. In the online platform, the young audience uses the online space without any restriction which increases his psychological vulnerability (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The study reveals that the online content that young people are exposed to has the significant potential to harm and improve the mental wellbeing of young people. The social media and image or video sharing can be constructively used to communicate about stress and find suitable support (Marchant et al., 2017). 

Type of Research

Study 1 – In order to determine the power of the internet and the online images, the qualitative research approach was used. The objective was to determine how the young people use the online pictures and images of self-harm. The semi-structured interviews were conducted among people between the age ranges of 16 to 24 in the U.K. and they had a prior history relating to self-harm (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

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Study 2 – The systematic review method was used by the research team in order to collect the evidence on the topic concerning self-harm. The articles that involved primary empirical data were considered for the study and the latest studies were combined with the former reviews so that the first-hand nature of the study could be maintained. The mean age of participants was 25 years or lower (Marchant et al., 2017). 

Sampling or Sampling size

Study 1 – The participants were sampled and the young people between the age of 16 years and 25 years who had previously caused self-harm to themselves. This sampling technique was used so that the people who actually had the experience of harming themselves could be involved in the study. The community sample of 21 persons was selected who were living in Wales, U.K (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – In this study, the sampling of the participants differed from study to study. For example, in one study, the participants were recruited through the online support forums whereas in others the digital metrics and community surveys were used to select the sample of the research participants (Marchant et al., 2017). 



Study 1 – The semi-structured interview was used as the primary research equipment to collect the data concerning self-harm. This qualitative study was extremely useful as it helped to capture that online images can have both positive and adverse impacts on the behaviour that is showcased by young individuals (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The systematic electronic literature search was conducted by the research team for the research articles that were published between 1st January 2011 and 26th January 2015. A wide range of databases was used including Medline, CINAHL, PubMed, etc. in order to get hold of the most authentic primary literature source (Marchant et al., 2017). 

Research Participants

Study 1 – The research participants were selected between the age range of 16 and 25 and they all had a previous history of self-harm. The research participants belonged to Wales, U.K. The individuals who had been selected for the study had liked the Facebook pages relating to the improvement of psychological health and wellbeing (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

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Study 2 – The research participants of the studies was varying in nature. But in the entire systematic review process, many thousands of research participants were involved. In some of the selected studies, the participants had come from schools, healthcare settings and universities. 

Collected Data – Pros and Cons

Study 1 – The qualitative data collection process that was used in the study had its share of pros and cons. The main advantages of the data collection process include the involvement of the young people with the real-life experience of self-harm which increased the validity of the data, the alignment of the qualitative approach with the former studies and the use of simple and relevant interview questions. The main disadvantage of the data collection process includes the small sample size of 21 participants which could affect the research outcome (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The pros of the data collection process include the use of a wide range of primary research studies and the high quality of the studies as these elements have increased the authenticity of the study. The cons of the article include the high degree of independence on a wide range of primary sources (Marchant et al., 2017). 


Limitation of the studies

Study 1 – The major limitation of the study was the sampling approach. There is even the possibility that the involved participants were not actually representing the young people who have been previously involved in self-harm and use the Internet. Another vital limitation was that the recruitment of the participants was restricted to the individuals who were using the Facebook site. These limitations could have restricted the effectiveness of the research study (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The major limitation of the study is that the findings of specific studies have been restricted to the time when the original researcher or author had conducted the study. For example, in a study, the author had taken the internet usage data up to 26th December 2011. This trend has dynamically changed in the past couple of years. Another major limitation relates to the possibility of publication bias that could have an impact on the research outcome (Marchant et al., 2017). 

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Study 1 – The validity of the study is mostly dependent on the answers that have been given by the interviewees. Thus the genuine and authentic behaviour of the respondents would directly affect the validity and reliability of the research process. Another important element that could have affected its validity is the professional approach of the research team while assessing the collected data. 

Study 2 – The validity of the article was checked by the involved research authors. The primary research studies were selected which had high validity and reliability but there is the possibility of bias relating to the research process and the publication approach. Thus the biased behaviour could have adversely affected the research outcome of the selected article (Marchant et al., 2017). 


Study 1 – The main variables that were used in the research study include the young individuals who had prior experience of causing harm to themselves and the online images that are found on the internet (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The main variables of the article include the degree of the use of the internet, the self-harm behaviour in young people and the suicidal behaviour in young people (Marchant et al., 2017). 

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Study 1 – The variables of the research study have been carefully selected by keeping in mind the rising trend relating to self-harm among young people (, 2018). The approach is right but it has restricted itself to inline images only and it has not focused on the other factors that come into play on the online platform such as cyberbullying and negative comments that influence youngsters to do self-harm (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – A holistic approach has been adopted to select the variables of the study. The research team has focused on various variables namely the young population, the use of the internet, self-harm practices and suicidal behaviour. Thus the variable selection of the study is broader as compared to the other journal article that has been selected in the report (Marchant et al., 2017). 

Recruitment of the Participants

Study 1 – The recruitment of the research participants was done via Facebook. This social networking site was used since the study intended to capture the experiences of the young people who have been involved in causing self-harm (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – A wide range of recruitment techniques were used to select the participants of the research studies. For example, for a number of studies, the participants were recruited through the online support platforms, emergency departments, and digital metrics (Marchant et al., 2017). 

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Study 1 – The response that was collected revealed that the internet plays a vital role to influence self-harming practices in individuals. Three-quarters of the participants stated that they believed that online imagery especially photographs are the main reason for the use of the internet as they induce a strong physical reaction that triggered them to cause self-harm. The tumbler was identified as the main online space that was used by the participants for their online self-harm activities (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

Study 2 – The findings of the article showed that the online behaviour that is exhibited by the young people could encourage them to cause self-harm. But there are a number of benefits that can be exploited such as the control of the social isolation, and the improved sense of community (Marchant et al., 2017). 

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Critical Analysis

Study 1 – The research study has assessed the impact of online images on self-harm practices by young people. The qualitative study by Jacob, Evans & Scourfield (2017), showed that the evolution of the internet has its share of threats which is increasing the vulnerability of the young people who are inclined towards self-harm. The viewing of self-harm images can have a detrimental impact on the youngsters who are already psychologically vulnerable (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017).  

Study 2 – The study by Marchant et al (2017) shows that the internet and the online elements such as the video or image sharing websites with self-harm content, online forums, etc. have their share of pros and cons. The threat surely increases for the vulnerable young people but the online platform can also be used to extend the supporting hand to these individuals (Marchant et al., 2017). 

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Study 1 – The qualitative research study shows that the Internet especially online images have a vital impact on youngsters as it invokes a physical reaction in them. It has been found that the Tumbler platform is mainly used by the young audience to showcase their self-harming activities. 

 Study 2 – The research relating to the internet and self-harm has been evolving. The online platform can be used positively or negatively by young people. The dangerous online content can harm the young online users whereas constructive information can be used to support the individuals. 

Overall Summary

The selected research studies highlight how the internet and its elements impact young people with self-harming intentions. The medium can be used to positively or negatively impact youngsters. But the vulnerability of young people increases due to the vast level of content that is available relating to self-harm and suicidal practices. 


Study 1 – The researchers have stated that there is a need for disentangling the interactions that young people do on online platforms. This approach can help to introduce the suitable and effective online intervention and prevention approaches to limit the self-harming practices among the young population. There is the need to further attend to the ever-evolving and complex interactions of the young individuals with the vast online spaces so that their vulnerability can be kept in check (Jacob, Evans & Scourfield, 2017). 

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Study 2 – The researchers have stated that there is a need to think of how online elements such as social media sites and image sharing options can be used to offer therapy to young people so that they can get support and recover from the psychological dilemma. There is scope for the clinicians that work with the youngsters who cause self-harm to use the internet and engage over the internet (Marchant et al., 2017). 


Bernardi, M., McMahon, E., Corcoran, P., Griffin, E. and Arensman, E., 2016. Risk of repeated self-harm and associated factors in children, adolescents and young adults. BMC psychiatry, 16(1), p.421.

Campbell, D. 2018. Self-harm by mental health patients in NHS has risen by 56%, figures show. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 4 Sep. 2018]. 2018. National Workforce Programme self-harm in children and young people handbook. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Sep. 2018].

Jacob, N., Evans, R. and Scourfield, J., 2017. The influence of online images on self-harm: a qualitative study of young people aged 16–24. Journal of adolescence, 60, pp.140-147.

Marchant, A., Hawton, K., Stewart, A., Montgomery, P., Singaravelu, V., Lloyd, K., Purdy, N., Daine, K. and John, A., 2017. A systematic review of the relationship between internet use, self-harm and suicidal behaviour in young people: The good, the bad and the unknown. PLoS One, 12(8), p.e0181722. 2018. Who is most at risk of suicide? – Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Sep. 2018].

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