Mediating effects of the relationship between school-based professionals' role, knowledge, and self-efficacy as related to non-suicidal self-injury
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Non-suicidal self-injurious (NSSI) behaviors are on the rise among school aged children and adolescents. The current research study assessed school-based professionals' general knowledge of NSSI behaviors and perceived self-efficacy in working with students that engage in NSSI behaviors. Direct experience working with students that engage in NSSI behaviors and familiarity with various mental health disorders served as mediators. Familiarity with various mental health disorders served as a significant predictor for most professionals when examining their general knowledge scores and perceived self-efficacy. Direct experience with NSSI behaviors proved to be a weak mediator in the current study. Findings suggest that school-based professionals, overall, do not hold a considerable amount of knowledge regarding NSSI behaviors or confidence in their ability to work with students that engage in NSSI behaviors. Specific areas for training and interventions are identified based upon study findings. The study emphasizes that school-based professionals are not required nor expected to have all the right answers. However, school-based professionals are encouraged to develop multidisciplinary teams to create action plans that address mental health issues in their schools.
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