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Lifetime Polytraumatization in Adolescence and Being a Victim of Bullying

Nilsson, Doris Kristina PhD*; Gustafsson, Per E. PhD; Svedin, Carl Göran MD, PhD*

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 11 - p 954–961
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182718aa1
Original Articles

The purposes of this study were to examine the mental health consequences of having been a victim of bullying and to investigate whether the impact of bullying was dependent on the co-occurrence of other potentially traumatic events, noninterpersonal traumas, interpersonal traumas, as well as adverse childhood circumstances.

A community sample of participants (n = 462; 216 males and 246 females) aged 15 to 20 years completed the self-administered Linkoping’s Youth Life Experience Scale about lifetime exposure to a range of traumatic and other adverse events and circumstances and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC). The results showed that those who reported being a victim of bullying reported significantly higher scores on all TSCC clinical scales as well as significantly more other traumatic and adverse family exposures. Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that the impact of bullying on mental health was explained, to a considerable degree, by the accumulation of other adverse and traumatic exposures, particularly in the females.

*Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; and †Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Send reprint requests to Doris Kristina Nilsson, PhD, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, IKE, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.