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Psychol Med. 2013 Apr;43(4):781-7. doi: 10.1017/S003329171200178X. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Self-perception but not peer reputation of bullying victimization is associated with non-clinical psychotic experiences in adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Educational Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Bullying victimization may be linked to psychosis but only self-report measures of victimization have been used so far. This study aimed (a) to investigate the differential associations of peer-nominated versus self-reported victim status with non-clinical psychotic experiences in a sample of young adolescents, and (b) to examine whether different types of self-reported victimization predict non-clinical psychotic experiences in these adolescents. Method A combination of standard self-report and peer nomination procedures was used to assess victimization. The sample (n = 724) was divided into four groups (exclusively self-reported victims, self- and peer-reported victims, exclusively peer-reported victims, and non-victims) to test for a group effect on non-clinical psychotic experiences. The relationship between types of victimization and non-clinical psychotic experiences was examined by a regression analysis.


Self-reported victims, along with self- and peer-reported victims, scored higher than peer-reported victims and non-victims on non-clinical psychotic experiences. Self-reports of direct relational, indirect relational and physical victimization significantly improved the prediction of non-clinical psychotic experiences whereas verbal and possession-directed victimization had no significant predictive value.


The relationship between victimization and non-clinical psychotic experiences is only present for self-reported victimization, possibly indicative of an interpretation bias. The observed discrepancy between self-report and peer-report highlights the importance of implementing a combination of both measures for future research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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