Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Self-Injury at School / Edition 1

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Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) among young people—most notably in the form of forearm- or wrist-cutting—occurs across cultural groups, social strata, and developmental stages, puzzling and repelling adults. Youth engaging in NSSI behaviors are at a higher risk for suicidality as well as other mental health and academic problems. And because NSSI is often first noticed in the school setting (as is the case with many children’s disorders), school professionals are being encouraged to take a more proactive role in intervention.

The first book specifically geared toward education personnel, Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Self-Injury at School clearly defines NSSI, differentiating it from suicidal, borderline, and other behaviors and analyzing the psychological contexts in which it occurs. This school-based perspective gives readers a practical framework for earlier, more accurate diagnosis; relevant consulting with parents, teachers, and colleagues; and effective, science-based treatment.

Included in the coverage:

• An overview of causes of self-injury.

• Current findings on prevalence and associated conditions.

• Early screening guidelines, including risk factors and warning signs.

• The latest information on assessment issues and diagnostic methods.

• A separate chapter on psychoeducational assessment.

• Up-to-date research on interventions for NSSI.

Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Self-Injury at School offers a solid foundation for school psychologists and allied educational professionals to understand students with NSSI and address their complex needs.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book, part of the Developmental Psychopathology at School Series, discusses nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in a school setting, its etiology, assessment, and treatment.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book "is designed to provide school-based professionals with the information they need to be better prepared to identify, assess, and treat students with NSSI."
Audience: It is intended for school psychologists and allied educational professionals, but graduate students in school psychology obviously would benefit as well.
Features: The introduction defines NSSI: "First, critical to this definition is the word 'intentional' which indicates that NSSI is deliberate rather than accidental or ambiguous in intent. Second, NSSI is suggested to be 'self-effected.' This term is used rather than 'self-inflicted' because many individuals who engage in NSSI do so with the assistance of others. Third, the use of the phrase 'low-lethality' is important, as it makes clear that NSSI is not a suicidal behavior. Fourth, NSSI is primarily about 'bodily harm.' An individual may talk about, plan, or attempt to self-injure, but until a student actually engages in bodily self-injury there is no NSSI." The authors then discuss causes of NSSI, including behavioral/environmental model, affect regulation model, physiological/biological model, suicide model, interpersonal/systemic model, depersonalization model, and sexual/sadomasochism model. They acknowledge that NSSI is not a simple phenomenon to describe or understand. Chapter 4 details the critical topics of warning signs and the screening and referral process. One of the helpful figures in the chapter illustrates a suicide risk assessment summary sheet. The authors address safety contracts and provide suggestions for school personnel who interact with NSSI students. The most important chapter looks at differentiating self-injury from suicidal behavior. The book ends with treatment and prevention strategies. The chapter on diagnostic assessment references material from Simeon and Favazza (2001) which categorizes self-injurious behavior into the four categories of stereotypic, major, compulsive, and impulsive. The few tables and figures are very helpful and an appendix lists Internet resources. The book is easy to read and practical, integrating the latest research findings, and is full of references for further investigation.
Assessment: At 137 pages, the book obviously is not an exhaustive look at the topic, but it gives school personnel great suggestions on where to start the process with NSSI students. The authors provide current research studies as a foundation as well as intervention and prevention ideas. It is must reading for school personnel, who may be the first to uncover these behavioral issues.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441960917
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 7/22/2010
  • Series: Developmental Psychopathology at School Series
  • Edition description: 2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

David N. Miller, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He received his Ph.D. in school psychology from Lehigh University. A certified school psychologist, he has extensive experience working with students with emotional and behavioral problems in both public and alternative school settings, including serving as the Director of the Predoctoral Internship in Professional Psychology at Centennial School of Lehigh University. He has more than 30 professional publications and book chapters and has conducted more than 40 national and state presentations on various topics, including self-injury and suicidal behavior in children and youth. He was also co-chair of the Suicide Prevention/Intervention Workgroup of the National Association of School Psychologists School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Task Force. Dr. Miller currently serves on the editorial advisory board of School Psychology Review, Psychology in the Schools, School Psychology Forum, and the Division 16 (School Psychology) Book Series.

Stephen E. Brock, Ph.D., NCSP, is an Associate Professor at California State University Sacramento. Previously, he worked for 18 years as a school psychologist with the Lodi Unified School District (the last six of which included assignments as Lead Psychologist). His professional preparation includes a Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Brock currently serves on the editorial boards of both state and national school psychology association newsletters and is an Associate Editor of The California School Psychologist (a peer-reviewed journal with the second largest distribution of school psychology journals in the United States). He is Past-President of the California Association of School Psychologists and a member of the National Association of School Psychologists’ Delegate Assembly and its Executive Council. Dr. Brock has authored more than 150 publications (including four books) and has made more than 80 refereed or invited state/national conference presentations. His academic work has included the study of school crisis response, suicide prevention, ADHD, autism, behavioral interventions, violence prevention, threat assessment, child development, and reading comprehension.

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Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview.- Causes.- Prevalence and Associated Conditions.- Case Finding, Screening, and Referral.- Diagnostic Assessment.- Psycho-Educational Assessment.- Treatment.- Appendix.- References.
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