Cutting, burning and other forms of self-harm behaviors occur in 8% of all teenagers, according to a study released Thursday.
While common, however, the study suggests that the practice of self-harm typically vanishes in late adolescence -- often without any mental-health treatment.
That doesn't mean, however, that parents should ignore the behavior, say the authors of the study, published Wednesday in the Lancet. Many youths who cut or burn themselves have underlying mental-health problems, such as depression or anxiety, that commonly persist into adulthood.
The study is the first to examine kids who harm themselves as they move into adulthood. British and Australian researchers followed 1,802 teens in Victoria, Australia, from 1992 to 2008. Among this group, 1 in 12 kids said they had harmed themselves.