Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Nebraska Psychological Society/Association for Psychological and Educational Research Joint Convention. Bellevue, NE. Oct. 2008. Available at:


The present study analyzes three factors as they relate to functioning: selfharm, substance abuse and age. Research has shown girls highest in mid-adolescent selfharm are those who engage in high levels of bullying (Barker, Arseneault, Brendgen, Fontaine, & Maughan, 2008). Little research has been done to analyze specific behaviors toward others among adolescents who self-harm. Dembo, la Voie, Schmeidler, & Washburn (1987) found a positive correlation between antisocial orientation and illicit drug use. Further research was done to understand the nature of behaviors and functioning of juveniles who abuse substances. Johnson (1988) found a history of substance abuse in the majority of families of children who engaged in sexually abusive behaviors. Juvenile substance abuse may also be correlated with children who engage in sexually abusive behaviors. Previous research suggests age may be a factor in functioning. In a study on bullying, aggressive victims became less prevalent and passive victims and bullies became more prevalent with age (Hanish, & Guerra, 2004). Additionally, inappropriate sexual behaviors may decrease with age. Sexual harassment of same- and opposite-sex peers has been shown to increase over early adolescent years and level off in later high-school years (Pepler, Craig, Connolly, Yuile, McMaster, & Jiang, 2006). The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the relation among selfharm, substance abuse and age as they relate to functioning. Specifically, juveniles’ sexually abusive behaviors toward others and behaviors toward others at 12 months were analyzed.