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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Jun;161(6):546-52.

Childhood bullies and victims and their risk of criminality in late adolescence: the Finnish From a Boy to a Man study.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.



To study correlations of childhood bullying and victimization with juvenile criminality.


Longitudinal birth cohort study from age 8 years to ages 16 to 20 years.


Population-based study from Finland.


The sample comprised 2551 boys (86.6% of the original birth cohort) with complete information about bullying and victimization from parents, teachers, and children at age 8 years.


Information about criminal offenses from the National Police Register at ages 16 to 20 years.


Frequent bullies and those who frequently both bullied and were bullied (8.8% of the sample) were responsible for 33.0% of all juvenile crimes during the 4-year study period. Frequent bully-only status predicted both occasional and repeated offending, whereas bully-victim status predicted repeated offending. Bullying predicted most types of crime (violence, property, drunk driving, and traffic offenses) when controlled with parental education level. However, frequent bullies or victims without a high level of psychiatric symptoms were not at an elevated risk for later criminality.


Boys who frequently bully are at risk for later criminality when this condition is accompanied by a high level of psychiatric symptoms. Frequent bullies should be actively screened for psychiatric problems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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