CMU celebrates Youth Studies program with well-known speakers
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Youth Studies program at Central Michigan University, the Department of Sociology brought researchers and professors Peter and Patricia Adler to campus to talk about their studies in self-injury and deviance.
Patricia gave a speech to students at 7 p.m. Thursday in a full-capacity auditorium in Anspach Hall. Patricia is a sociology professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder and Peter is a sociology professor at the University of Denver.
Professor of Sociology David Kinney organized the event and was proud to bring the Adlers to CMU for their first time.
“I met them at a conference in 1993 in Miami, Fla., and we have been colleagues and friends ever since. This is a pretty big deal that they are here,” Kinney said.
A book that the Adlers have written called “Peer Power” is used as a textbook in a Youth Studies course here at CMU, so many students and faculty members were excited to see the pair in person.
Patricia said psychology dominates the popularity trend but self-injury is more oriented with sociology. Her and Peter studied self-injury research for 10 years and interviewed more than 150 people to complete their study.
The people the Adlers talked to were 16 to 50 years old and about 85 percent women. They said it is primarily an issue with women.
“Many people see self-injury as a suicidal act or gesture but for these people it is temporary relief and a form of self-help. They have pent up emotion and are struggling or overwhelmed with dealing with their emotions,” Patricia said.
Patricia said 2 to 4 percent of the United States population deals with self-injury problems and about 70 percent of the people use the form of cutting.
“Much like eating disorders this is an American-based disorder. And that’s just what it is – it’s an impulse control disorder,” Patricia said.
Sociology major Courtney Bunker said she had to come to the event for a class but she was interested in the topic as well. The sophomore said she wants to be a parole officer so knowing what is going on in adolescents is important.
“I want to look forward to going to work and in this field it’ll be something different every day,” the Jackson native said.
Patricia said that her and Peter got involved with self- injury in 1982 when a family friend came to them with their problems. She refers to the topic of self-injury as the “quiet epidemic” because so many kept their issues to themselves or didn’t really know that it was a serious disorder.
She said people become fascinated with their own blood or just self-injure out of curiosity.
Her and Peter are still in touch with about a dozen of the people that they interviewed.
Leave a Comment
Like us on Facebook
- Marty: Hi I am searching for a Honda rear wheel hub,shaft drive (d…
- Karen Ohneck: Scott you are awesome I have known you for8 yrs. These kids …
- Samantha: Go Kirsten!!!! U are my mentor and I hope u will come back t…
- Hannah McCalister: I disagree with your statement. This was a great article and…
- Jason: Maybe it's just me, but I've never done anything this shorts…
• Is your baby graduating CMU? Place a personal greeting and photo in CM Life's Baby Graduates special pages. Download the form here
• Contact local movers in Mount Pleasant to help with all of your moving needs.
• Download Campus Cash Coupons!
• Search for local apartments
• Add your link here