Correlation between psychological difficulties in young adulthood and exposure to bullying behavior in childhood and adolescence


  • Kristina Sesar
  • Marijana Barišić
  • Maja Pandža
  • Arta Dodaj


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


Objective. This study investigates the relationship between involvementin bullying in childhood and adolescence and psychological difficultiesin 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 thefifth to eighth grade and the high school period) had higher scoreson the subscale of dissociative symptoms and sexual trauma symptomscompared 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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How to Cite

Sesar, K., Barišić, M., Pandža, M., & Dodaj, A. (2012). Correlation between psychological difficulties in young adulthood and exposure to bullying behavior in childhood and adolescence. Acta Medica Academica, 41(2), 131–144. Retrieved from



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