BULLYING BEHAVIOUR IN RELATION TO PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS, SUICIDALITY AND CRIMINAL OFFENCES, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS D Medica 1072
|Kustantaja:||Oulun yliopisto|| |
|Oppiaine:||Lääketiede, farmasia|| |
|Sijainti:||Print Tietotalo|| |
|Tekijät:||LUUKKONEN ANU-HELMI|| |
Bullying behaviour is present in the daily life of many adolescents, but research into the seriousproblems related to this behaviour is still scarce. The aim of this work was to investigate theputative associations of bullying behaviour with psychiatric disorders, substance use, suicidalityand criminal offences in a sample of under-age adolescent inpatients in Northern Finland.
The epidemiologically unselected sample of 12–17-year-old inpatients in need of acutepsychiatric hospitalization in a closed ward consisted of 508 adolescents admitted to Unit 70 inOulu University Hospital during a defined 5-year period. These subjects were interviewed duringtheir hospitalization using the diagnostic semi-structured Schedule for Affective Disorder andSchizophrenia for School-Age Children Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL), to identify theirpsychiatric disorders in terms of DSM-IV and to obtain data on bullying behaviour, substance use,suicidality and somatic diseases. Data on possible criminal offences were extracted from thecriminal records of the Finnish Legal Register Centre.
Being a bully and a bully-victim (i.e. a person who bullies others and is also bullied) increasedthe likelihood of externalizing disorders in general, and more specifically of conduct disorders, byover 14-fold in the boys and over 10-fold in the girls. Among the boys being a victim of bullyingelevated the risk of internalizing disorders in general, and more specifically of anxiety disorders,by over 3-fold. Also, being a victim of bullying was statistically significantly associated withchronic somatic diseases (e.g. allergy, asthma and epilepsy), but only among the boys, the oddsratio (OR) being over 2-fold. Furthermore, being a bully increased the likelihood of substance-related disorders by over 2-fold in the boys and over 5-fold in the girls. In addition, examinationof the use of substances of various types showed that being a bully increased the risk of regulardaily smoking and alcohol use in both sexes and also led to more severe substance use such ascannabis and hard drugs among girls. Being a victim of bullying and bullying others bothincreased the risk of serious suicide attempts in the girls by over 2 and 3-fold respectively.Furthermore, bullying behaviour was also associated with violent crimes, but not with non-violentcrimes, but psychiatric disorders were significant mediating factors in this association of bullyingbehaviour with criminality, however.
The findings imply that involvement in bullying behaviour is more likely to be a risk factor forinward-directed harmful behaviour than outward-directed aggression, and also suggest thatvictimized boys are in general more vulnerable than victimized girls, whereas bullying girls havemore problems than bullying boys.