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Association of different forms of bullying victimisation with adolescents' psychological distress and reduced emotional wellbeing

Thomas, Hannah J., Chan, Gary C. K., Scott, James G., Connor, Jason P., Kelly, Adrian B. and Williams, Joanne 2016, Association of different forms of bullying victimisation with adolescents' psychological distress and reduced emotional wellbeing, Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 371-379, doi: 10.1177/0004867415600076.

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Title Association of different forms of bullying victimisation with adolescents' psychological distress and reduced emotional wellbeing
Author(s) Thomas, Hannah J.
Chan, Gary C. K.
Scott, James G.
Connor, Jason P.
Kelly, Adrian B.
Williams, Joanne
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry
Volume number 50
Issue number 4
Start page 371
End page 379
Total pages 26
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng
Publication date 2016-04
ISSN 1440-1614
Keyword(s) Bullying
adolescents
emotional wellbeing
exclusion
psychological distress
Summary OBJECTIVE: The frequency and emotional response to bullying victimisation are known to be associated with adolescent mental ill health. A potentially important under-investigated factor is the form of bullying. Four common forms of bullying behaviours are name-calling, physical threats or harm, rumour spreading and social exclusion. To more comprehensively understand bullying victimisation in adolescence, we examined the association of all three factors (frequency, emotional response, form) to psychological distress and emotional wellbeing. METHOD: A stratified, random sample of adolescents (n = 10, 273; mean age = 14.33 years, standard deviation = 1.68 years) completed validated measures of bullying victimisation (Gatehouse Bullying Questionnaire), psychological distress (K10) and emotional wellbeing (Mental Health Inventory) in classroom time. Associations between the form of bullying victimisation and mental health outcomes were examined. RESULTS: Adolescents reported a high prevalence of all four forms of bullying: teased or called names (30.6%), rumour spreading (17.9%), social exclusion (14.3%) and physical threats or harm (10.7%). Victimisation was independently associated with significantly higher levels of psychological distress and reduced levels of emotional wellbeing for all forms of bullying. In particular, social exclusion had a strong association with mental ill health. Adolescents who experienced frequent bullying that was upsetting reported higher psychological distress and reduced emotional wellbeing. CONCLUSION: Different forms of bullying victimisation were independently associated with psychological distress and reduced emotional wellbeing. In particular, frequent and upsetting social exclusion requires a targeted and measured response by school communities and health practitioners.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/0004867415600076
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Sage Publications
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078242

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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