The relation between bullying and subclinical psychotic experiences and the influence of the bully climate of school classes.


This study aims to examine the association between the bully climate of school classes and the prevalence of subclinical psychotic experiences among students who are involved in bullying (either as bully or as victim). Data were derived from the Dutch health behavior in school-aged children survey of 2005, a nationally representative cross-sectional study with a total of 5,509 adolescents between the age of 12 and 16. The data were analyzed using a multilevel regression analysis. The study revealed that both bullying and being bullied in school classes was associated with an increased level of subclinical psychotic experiences. The bully climate of a school class moderates this effect, i.e., the higher risk for bully-victims on subclinical psychotic experiences was less strong in classes with a higher percentage of classmates involved in bullying. Thus, bully climate has to be taken into account when studying the psychological experiences associated with being bullied.