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The relationship between difficulties in psychological adjustment in young adulthood and exposure to bullying behaviour in childhood and adolescence

Keywords: Bullying , Psychological adjustment , Young adulthood , Trauma symptoms , Retrospective research

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Abstract:

Objective. This study investigates the relationship between involvement in bullying in childhood and adolescence and psychological difficulties in young adulthood. Materials and method. A total of 249college students completed the Retrospective Bullying Questionnaireand Trauma Symptom Checklist. Results. The results showed significantdifferences in psychological adjustment among respondents whowere exposed to bullying compared to respondents who were not exposedto bullying. Those exposed to bullying had significantly higherlevels of anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, and dissociative andtraumatic symptoms compared to those who were not exposed to bullying.Respondents who were exposed to bullying in all three examinedperiods (the period from the first to fourth grade, the period from the fifth to eighth grade and the high school period) had higher scores on the subscale of dissociative symptoms and sexual trauma symptoms compared to respondents who were exposed through one or twoperiods. Victims abused in all three periods have more symptoms ofanxiety and sleeping problems compared to the subjects exposed tobullying during one examination period. There were no differences inthe level of depressive symptoms and sexual problems regarding theduration of bullying. Also, there were no differences in psychologicaladjustment between respondents who were bullied during one specificperiod. Conclusion. Bullying experiences in childhood and adolescenceare connected with difficulties in psychological adjustment inyoung adulthood.

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