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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Madeleine Dupre

Eric W. Cowan

Anne L. Stewart


This research project details cutting as a coping mechanism for adolescent females, specifically looking at the functions of cutting, e.g. affect regulation, anti-dissociation, and self-punishment. Self-injury manifested in cutting is essentially different from suicidal gesturing in that the self-injurer is attempting to avoid death. Despite the vast amount of research encouraging therapists to hear the pain behind the scream, many clinicians focus on the behavior itself, neglecting the layers of meaning beneath the cutting. Paralleling the literature review is the case study of Artemis, an adolescent female. Presented in detail are her experiences and utilization of cutting. Implications and recommendations for mental health professionals working with adolescent females who cut are presented.

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Psychology Commons