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Pediatrics. 2007 Aug;120(2):397-404.

What is the early adulthood outcome of boys who bully or are bullied in childhood? The Finnish "From a Boy to a Man" study.

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  • 1Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, 20520 Turku, Finland.



Our goal was to study predictive associations between bullying and victimization at age 8 years and psychiatric disorders in early adulthood.


The sample comprised 2540 boys born in 1981. Information about bullying and victimization was gathered in 1989 when the boys were 8 years old from parents, teachers, and children. Information about psychiatric disorders was based on military call-up examination and army registry when the subjects were 18 to 23 years old.


In univariate logistic regression analysis, frequent bullying-only status predicted antisocial personality, substance abuse, and depressive and anxiety disorders; frequent victimization-only status predicted anxiety disorder, whereas frequent bully-victim status predicted antisocial personality and anxiety disorder. When controlled against the effects of parental education level and parent and teacher reports of emotional and behavioral symptoms by using Rutter scales, frequent victimization-only status predicted anxiety disorders, and frequent bullying-only predicted antisocial personality disorder, whereas frequent bully-victimization predicted both anxiety and antisocial personality disorder. Information about frequent bullying and victimization as primary screening for children at risk identified approximately 28% of those with a psychiatric disorder 10 to 15 years later.


Both bullying and victimization during early school years are public health signs that identify boys who are at risk of suffering psychiatric disorders in early adulthood. The school health and educational system has a central role to play in detecting these boys at risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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