Objective: To examine factors associated with bullying and victimization from age 8 to 16.
Method: An 8-year longitudinal study included questions about bullying and victimization at age 8 and 16. Children were evaluated with Rutter scales by parents and teachers and with the Child Depression Inventory filled in by the children at age 8. When the children were at the age of 16 parents filled in the CBCL and adolescents the YSR.
Results: About 15% of boys and 7% of girls were bullied and 12% of girls and 13% of boys were victimized at age 16. Both bullying and victimization at age 16 were associated with a wide range of psychological problems at age 8 and 16, and with referral to child mental health services. Bullying at age 8 was associated with bullying at age 16, while victimization at age 8 was associated with victimization 8 years later.
Conclusions: Bullying and victimization are often persistent and associated with severe emotional and behavior problems. Preventive efforts should be focused, and targeted at those children who are characterized by both psychological disturbance and bullying.