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Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2013 Feb;17(1):69-72. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2012.693185.

Victims of bullying in childhood, criminal outcomes in adulthood.

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  • 1Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, OH, USA.



Being bullied in childhood is empirically associated with a number of negative psychosocial outcomes, including delinquency. However, no study to date has examined in a clinical population relationships between being bullied in childhood and accruing charges for criminal behavior in adulthood - the focus of the present study.


In this cross-sectional study of 377 consecutive outpatients from an internal medicine clinic, we examined relationships between three self- reported bullying variables and self-reported charges for any of 27 criminal behaviors as schematized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


In this sample, approximately 45% of participants self-reported being victims of bullying in childhood. Men, but not women, evidenced relationships between being a victim of bullying in childhood and the number of different illegal charges reported in adulthood.


Although the methodology of this study does not allow for the determination of a causal relationship, findings suggest that being a victim of bullying in childhood may be associated with criminal behavior in adulthood, particularly among males.

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