22 Apr 2011

American Samoa self-harm study suggests lack of communication a key factor

11:16 am on 22 April 2011

A lack of communication between students and parents is emerging as a key factor in an American Samoan study that's investigating why young people harm themselves.

The Fesili Mai or Ask Me project aims to understand why nearly a

quarter of American Samoa high school students consider self-violence.

Alu Iuli's group, the Alliance for Strengthening Families is conducting a survey at schools as part of the project.

She says the survey is showing there's a lack of dialogue between young people and adults about issues such as teenage pregnancy, alcohol and violence.

"That's one of the primary factors that appears to be surfacing more often as we talk with our students, that there's a degree of loneliness, that's there's no real communication happening between students, our children and ourselves as parents."

Alu Iuli from the Alliance for Strengthening Families.

Close to 400 students have already been surveyed and their responses have been sent to the University of North Dakota for analysis.