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Updated Jun 12, 2012 - 9:01 am

Kids hurting selves on purpose at younger age

PHOENIX -- A recent study from the Journal of Pediatrics said that children as young as 7 years old harm themselves on purpose to deal with emotional stress.

They do this by cutting, burning, or hitting themselves.

The numbers come from interviews with children in Denver and central New Jersey. Nearly 8 percent of the third-graders interviewed said they had hurt themselves intentionally.

"I suspect it may have to do with the children having more media exposure and interactive media exposure," said Dr. Urszula Kotlow, a child therapist at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

According to Kotlow, there are many reasons why kids self-harm, but she attributes some of the latest cases to isolation from others and more time interacting online.

She believes more kids are finding themselves in adultlike situations on the Internet when they aren't mature enough to cope with those situations.

"It's like they are being traumatized with the experiences they have with cyberbullying, and with the more frequent, uncensored exposure," said Kotlow.

Kotlow believes less exposure to the Internet and cell phones could help prevent kids from harming themselves.

If a child is self-harming, parents should try to seek counseling for them.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started here in December 2011. I'm definitely the new kid.

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado.

Education: I got my undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University. I then went to graduate school at Arizona State University.

Family: I have been married to my wonderful wife, Jamie, since June 2010. We don't have any kids, but we do have a cat that causes as much trouble as a kid.

Favorite food: Chocolate chip cookies and cucumbers. In fact, every day I have a couple of cucumbers in my work bag chopped up and ready for snacking. I eat the cookies to offset being too healthy.

Favorite spot in Arizona: Sedona, hands down. I actually went there for my honeymoon.

Favorite news memory: I worked on a 3-month project involving the problems with Type II Diabetes along the U.S.-Mexico Border. It's a problem that a lot of people don't about. I met and worked with people down there that changed my life.

Favorite movie: It's hard to pin down just one, but one that always keeps replaying in my head is The Princess Bride.

Favorite TV Show: That 70's Show and The Simpsons. I could probably name some others, but I watch those two as often as possible.

First job: I was a busboy for an Old Chicago back home in Boulder. I worked all through high school at that place, and loved it.

Favorite band: I have a lot of music I listen to, but I love the Foo Fighters and Rise Against. 3 Doors Down is another group that's a favorite on my iPod.

Favorite sports team: The San Francisco 49ers by far! I get a lot of guff for cheering for them in Arizona, but I love every moment of it. As far as college sports go, I'm always following the BYU Cougars.

Outside interests: My wife and I love going outdoors, whether it's camping or hiking. Personally, I love mountain biking. I also play a little guitar when I have a bit of free time.


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