Objective: This study investigated psychiatric symptoms and deviance at the age of 15 years among children involved in bullying at the age of 8 years or at the age of 12 years. Furthermore, the relationships between involvement in bullying at the age of 8 years, concurrent psychiatric deviance, and later psychiatric deviance were studied.
Method: Questionnaires filled in by the parents, teachers and children themselves were used to reveal psychiatric symptoms and deviance.
Results: Children involved in bullying, in particular those who were bully-victims at early elementary school age and those who were victims in their early teens, had more psychiatric symptoms at the age of 15 years. The probability of being deviant at the age of 15 years was higher among children involved in bullying at the age of 8 or 12 years than among non-involved children. When concurrent psychiatric deviance was taken into account, involvement in bullying increased the probability of teacher-defined deviance at the age of 15 years.
Conclusion: Bullying experiences are connected not only to concurrent psychiatric symptoms but also to future psychiatric symptoms. Furthermore, the probability of being deviant in adolescence is increased if the child has been involved in bullying at elementary school age.