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

Version 2 2024-06-06, 09:08
Version 1 2015-09-07, 15:42
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 09:08 authored by HJ Thomas, GCK Chan, JG Scott, JP Connor, AB Kelly, J Williams
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.

History

Journal

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

Volume

50

Pagination

371-379

Location

England

ISSN

0004-8674

eISSN

1440-1614

Language

English

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015,

Issue

4

Publisher

SAGE Publications