Resilience to self-harm: A scoping review of protective factors that aid in recovery among marginalized young people
Khan, A. & Ungar, M.
Background: Although a wide range of studies discuss prevalence and risk factors associated with self-harm, protective factors that are equally important are rarely explored. Moreover, much of our understanding of young individuals who engage in self-harm come from studies conducted in Western countries with very little emphasis on marginalized groups. Aim: This scoping review identifies research on resilience among marginalized youth and youth living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) who show evidence of self-harm. Method: A scoping review following Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) framework was conducted. This effort included drawing upon peer-reviewed research published between January 2000 and September 2020 to identify protective factors and coping strategies that are employed by individuals 10–29 years old with self-harming tendencies. Results: A total of 15 original papers met the inclusion criteria. The majority of the LMIC publications were from China. Social support, positive youth development, and religiosity were the most frequently reported protective factors. Conclusion: Despite widespread concern about self-harm, there are few peer-reviewed articles that look at resilience or recovery among youth in LMICs and among marginalized young people. In addition to various internal and external protective factors, this scoping review identifies gaps in our understanding of resilience to self-harm among youth belonging to these groups.