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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Jul;45(7):1579-91. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

The relationship between bullying, psychotic-like experiences and appraisals in 14-16-year olds.

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School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Coupland 1 Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9pl, UK.


The psychological consequences of bullying have been the focus of much research over the last 25 years. However, the relationship between bullying and psychotic experiences has been relatively ignored despite the weight of evidence which suggests that traumatic events in childhood are significantly related to psychotic disorders. 373 pupils aged between 14 and 16 years took part in the study. They were asked to complete a number of self-report measures which examined their experience of bullying, predisposition to auditory hallucinations, paranoia and dissociation, and beliefs about both the self and the world and about paranoia. It was found that bullying was significantly associated with predisposition to psychotic experiences. Negative post-trauma cognitions were also associated with predisposition to psychotic phenomena as were positive beliefs about paranoia. Being bullied at school and beliefs about trauma and psychotic symptoms may contribute to the development of psychosis. However, it is also possible that these results indicate that experiencing psychotic-like phenomena increases the likelihood that a pupil's interpersonal context is characterised by peer hostility and rejection. The implications of these results are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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