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Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):99-106. doi: 10.1002/cbm.799.

Bullying at school as a predictor of delinquency, violence and other anti-social behaviour in adulthood.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although bullying at school is an important topic, its long-term relation to anti-social development is rarely investigated.

AIM:

To study the relation between bullying in youth and anti-social outcomes in adulthood.

METHODS:

A group of 63 males (bullies and victims over-sampled) from the Erlangen-Nuremberg Bullying Study were investigated at ages 15 and 25. Bullying was assessed with the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Outcome measures included self-reported delinquency, violence, aggressiveness, drug use, impulsivity and psychopathy. In addition to bivariate correlations, hierarchical regressions were used to control for family and individual risk factors.

RESULTS:

Bullying was a strong predictor of nearly all anti-social outcomes. Physical bullying was more predictive than verbal/indirect bullying. Controlling for family risks and externalising/internalising problems reduced effect sizes, but bullying remained a sound predictor. Victimisation was not related to anti-social outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bullying seems to be a key risk marker for anti-social development. Therefore, studies on whole-school anti-bullying programmes and child-oriented or family-oriented strategies of crime prevention should be more integrated.

PMID:
21370295
DOI:
10.1002/cbm.799
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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