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Childhood experiences of bullying, trauma symptoms and attributions: their relation to violent offending

By Luan Pessall

Abstract

The primary aim of this study was to see whether there is a relationship between the experience of being bullied and violent offending in later life. It was proposed that someone being bullied could be traumatised by the experience and display symptoms akin to PTSD, including hypervigilance and heightened threat perception, which may influence the likelihood of their involvement in violence. The study considers the relationship between the experience of being bullied, trauma symptoms and violent offending. \ud Attributional style in relation to all of these variables is also considered as hostile attributional bias was proposed as a possible outcome of being bullied and a factor in increasing the likelihood of violent offending. Research concerned with childhood bullying, its effects, offending, and trauma is reviewed. The study and results are discussed in the context of literature to date. A relationship between the level of bullying experienced and the level of trauma symptoms currently experienced was found. There were no differences found between violent and non violent offenders on any of the measures used but there was a relationship between violent offending and a tendency to make negative attributions about their own actions relating to events. A similar relationship was also found for participants who had experienced bullying but not for those who had bullied others. Possibilities for future research and the implications for intervention and bullying prevention programmes are discussed in light of the findings

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/7834

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