Body marking and tattooing amongst Western Australian high school adolescents

Elizabeth Parry

    Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

    295 Downloads (Pure)


    study examined tattooing and body marking in high school
    students in government schools. Data were obtained by questionnaire and
    in-depth follow-up interviews. The sample consisted of 460 male and
    female high school students. Of these, 229 were females and 231 were
    males. Subjects were selected randomly from four schools and selected
    purposely from one other. Of the sample, 13.58% had tattoos and the mean
    age at which subjects had acquired their first tattoo was 12.3 years.
    Approximately 70% acquired their tattoos through self administration, while
    over 22% obtained them from friends or family members. The two main
    reasons cited for obtaining tattoos were "boredom" or "because I felt like it".
    Crude instruments such as needles, razors, combs and other sharp objects
    were most commonly used to administer tattoos in highly visible anatomical
    locations (e.g., arm and hand). There were differences in the types of
    designs acquired by male and female subjects. Health awareness of subjects
    was poor in that only 50% thought it possible to catch a disease from
    tattooing. More specifically, only 40% thought it possible to catch AIDS,
    and only 25% thought it possible to catch Hepatitis. Subjects realised the
    difficulty in removing tattoos, yet many had attempted removal using items
    such as glass, razors, and in one case, a potato peeler. Interestingly,
    although subjects with tattoos were often in 'time out' or suspended from
    school, they had a positive attitude towards school.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    Publication statusUnpublished - 1993

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    • This thesis has been made available in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository as part of a UWA Library project to digitise and make available theses completed before 2003. If you are the author of this thesis and would like it removed from the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, please contact [email protected]


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