The relationship between bullying victimization and impairment in personality functioning in a clinical adolescent sample.

Seiffert, Nora; Cavelti, Marialuisa; Schmidt, Stefanie J; Fritz, Elvira; Lerch, Stefan; Reichl, Corinna; Koenig, Julian; Mürner-Lavanchy, Ines; Kaess, Michael (2024). The relationship between bullying victimization and impairment in personality functioning in a clinical adolescent sample. Personality disorders: theory, research, and treatment, 15(3), pp. 173-180. American Psychological Association 10.1037/per0000652

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Problematic interpersonal relationships may represent both, a risk factor for the development or trigger of personality disorder (PD) symptoms and its consequences. Since peer relationships become more and more important in adolescence, the current study explores the cross-sectional association between recent bullying experiences and levels of impairment in personality functioning according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) alternative model of personality disorders (AMPD; Criterion A) in help-seeking adolescents (N = 493). Logistic and multiple regression analyses revealed that patients who were frequently bullied in the past 3 months (i.e., at least once a week) were more likely to reach the diagnostic threshold for PD according to the AMPD (OR = 1.71, p = .025) and showed higher levels of impairment in identity (β = .41, p < .001), empathy (β = .26, p = .002), and intimacy (β = .30, p = .001), but not self-direction, compared to patients who did not report any bullying experiences. Occasional bullying in the past 3 months (i.e., every few weeks) was neither associated with a greater likelihood to reach the diagnostic threshold for PD nor with greater impairments in identity, self-direction, empathy, or intimacy compared to no bullying. While the current study provides support for a correlation between bullying experiences and personality dysfunction (particularly in the elements identity and intimacy), longitudinal research is needed to clarify whether experiences of bullying cause or trigger personality dysfunction or/and vice versa. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Seiffert, Nora Olivia, Cavelti, Marialuisa (A), Schmidt, Stefanie Julia, Fritz, Elvira, Lerch, Stefan, Reichl, Corinna, Mürner-Lavanchy, Ines Mirjam, Kaess, Michael


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Psychological Association




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Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2024 11:14

Last Modified:

30 Apr 2024 00:15

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