Causale verbanden tussen pesten en psychosociale problematiek; een longitudinale studie.Daal, C. van

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of bullying or being bullied on psychosocial problems among adolescents and vice versa. In addition, it was tested whether the effects of being bullied and bullying were dependent up on each other. Cross-sectional evidence cannot clarify questions of causality; this longitudinal design might contribute to answering this question. Methods: The third wave of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey was conducted among 1.558 adolescents aged 14-18 years. For psychosocial problems, the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used. a factor analysis was conducted to create the persistent variables for the independent variables. A multiple linear regression analyses is carried out to predict the values of the dependent variables. Results: Results of this study show that bullying, being bullied and psychosocial problems are all consistent and reliable constructs, which are fairly stable over time. The predictor role of bullying or being bullied for psychosocial problems, was unexpectedly not found when controlling for persistent psychosocial problems. Discussion: Findings suggest that psychosocial problems (particularly peerproblems) aren’t a consequence of being bullied, but predict being bullied over time. Bullying seems to be predicted by externalizing problems, and not vice versa. This study should further encourage steps to replicate these findings. Also, including specific elements for behavior problems into the existing pest-prevention programs is recommended.