Intended for healthcare professionals


Adolescent bullying linked to depression in early adulthood

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 02 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2694
  1. Maria M Ttofi, lecturer in psychological criminology
  1. 1Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9DA, UK
  1. mt394{at}

Evidence supports early intervention that involves parents, teachers, and young people

Throughout the school years, probably the one thing beyond schoolwork that young people have in common is the need to fit in with their peer group. When young people do not fit in, things may turn ugly.1 We have all heard stories of young people being the target of racist, homophobic, or other forms of bullying. Bullying can hamper the psychosocial development of young people.2 Notably, scientific interest in the topic emerged after the well publicised suicides of three Norwegian students in 1982, resulting in a nationwide campaign against bullying and victimisation.3

In a linked paper (doi:10.1136/bmj.h2469) Bowes and colleagues4 investigated the long term adverse effect of bullying by peers on the mental health of victims, with a focus on depression in early adulthood. The authors used sophisticated longitudinal analyses from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study, a UK community based birth cohort, to investigate the predictive efficacy of victimisation by peers at age 13 years on depression five years later. The study, based on data from over 2600 adolescents, …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription