Bullying - A systematic review of prevalence and an exploration of its association with attenuated symptoms of psychosis

  • Callum Urquhart

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctorate in Clinical Psychology


 The thesis comprises of two studies.

The first was systematic review and meta-analysis of bullying prevalence amongst post-primary children in the United Kingdom.

45 eligible studies were found and prevalence meta-analysis provided pooled prevalence estimates of bullying across three time periods (1993-2002, 2003-2012, 2013-2022). For 2013-2022 the pooled prevalence estimates were as follows: victims of traditional bullying 23%, perpetrators of traditional bullying 10%, victims of cyberbullying 15%, preparators of cyberbullying 8%. Insufficient studies prevented a meta-analysis of bully/victims prevalence but relevant studies ranged from 1% to 20%.

The second was an empirical study which explored the association between sex, age, adverse childhood experiences and bullying with attenuated symptoms of psychosis. A hierarchical multiple regression explored four models combing age, sex, ACEs, traditional bullying and cyberbullying and their relationship to the PQ16 in 1528 adults (18-35) .

The final regression model, which combined all forms of bullying, age, sex, and ACEs explained 15% of variance in relation to the number of items endorsed on the PQ16. Traditional forms of bullying made a unique contribution of 4.6% to the regression model and this was increased by 0.6% when cyberbullying was also included. Although sex showed a significant association with the number of items endorsed on the PQ16 in the first regression model, this relationship disappeared when ACEs were introduced.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 July 2024.
Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorDonncha Hanna (Supervisor)

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