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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Bullied at school, bullied at work: a prospective study

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BACKGROUND: The consequences of childhood bullying victimisation are serious. Much previous research on risk factors for being bullied has used a cross-sectional design, impeding the possibility to draw conclusions on causality, and has not considered simultaneous effects of multiple risk factors. Paying closer attention to multiple risk factors for being bullying can provide a basis for designing intervention programmes to prevent or reduce bullying among children and adolescents.

METHODS: Risk factors for bullying were examined by using questionnaire data collected in 2004 and 2007. In 2004, the participants were aged 14-15 years and 17-18 years in 2007. The baseline questionnaire was answered by 3054 individuals in 2004, and 2181 individuals participated in both rounds. We analysed risk factors for being bullied at the individual and societal level. Information on the social background of the participants was derived from a national register at Statistics Denmark.

RESULTS: Several risk factors were identified. Being obese, low self-assessed position in school class, overprotective parents, low self-esteem, low sense of coherence and low socioeconomic status were risk factors for being bullied at school. Being overweight, smoking, low self-assessed position in class, low sense of coherence and low socioeconomic status were risk factors for being bullied at work. However, most associations between risk factors in 2004 and being bullied in 2007 disappeared after adjustment for being bullied in 2004.

CONCLUSIONS: The strongest risk factor for being bullied was being previously bullied. Our results stress the importance of early prevention of bullying at schools. In addition, attention should be drawn to the role of overprotective parents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Psychology
Volume3
Pages (from-to)35
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adolescent Behavior/psychology, Aggression/psychology, Bullying/prevention & control, Denmark, Female, Humans, Male, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Schools, Social Behavior, Surveys and Questionnaires, Work

ID: 55757041