Cyberbullying in those at clinical high risk for psychosis

Early Interv Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;7(4):427-30. doi: 10.1111/eip.12013. Epub 2013 Jan 24.


Aim: Several studies suggest an association between experiences of childhood trauma including bullying and the development of psychotic symptoms. The use of communications technology has created a new media for bullying called 'cyberbullying'. Research has demonstrated associations between traditional bullying and cyberbullying. Negative effects of cyberbullying appear similar in nature and severity to the reported effects of traditional bullying. Our aim was to examine the prevalence and correlates of cyberbullying in those at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis.

Methods: Fifty young people at CHR for psychosis were administered the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire with added questions about cyberbullying.

Results: Cyberbullying was reported in 38% of the sample. Those who experienced cyberbullying also reported experiencing previous trauma.

Conclusion: It is possible that cyberbullying may be a problem for those at CHR of psychosis, and due to the vulnerable nature of these young people may have longitudinal implications.

Keywords: childhood trauma; clinical high risk; cyberbullying; prodromal; psychosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prodromal Symptoms
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Networking*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires