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Critical Observation

This posting explains how psychological research applies to various aspects of social life. It also answers the following items:

a. Describe the selected type of behavior

b. Examine the conditions that precede your selected type of behavior.

c. Examine the consequences that follow your selected type of behavior.

d. Describe how psychology can be used to explain the behavior.

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Solution Preview

Please allow some of these brainstorming ideas to guide your analysis:

a. First, as you describe behaviors related to teens' self-mutilation, please note that researchers also refer to these conditions as "Self-harm and self-injury" (http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/disorders/selfmutilation.html). These behaviors refer to self-harm behaviors that involve "inflicting injury or pain on one's own body" (http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/disorders/selfmutilation.html). When defining and describing these behaviors, please note that clients may exhibit hair pulling, picking their skin, abusing substances or even eating disorders.

Although this category of behaviors seems broad, many researchers such as Favazza and Rosenthal (1993) specify that these patterns often take the form of "pathological self-mutilation." For example, extreme behaviors are observed where clients cutting the skin with knives, safety pins, razors, or even their own nails. The patients continue to inflict harm until pain is felt or blood occurs. Many patients also exhibit behaviors such as burning their skin with cigarettes, lighters, even irons.

When describing these behaviors, please ...

Solution Summary

This posting addresses teens' self mutilation.