Article excerpt

Byline: CATRIONA HUGHES BY news@irishmirror.ie

IRISH psychiatrists have proved a direct link between bullying and later mental health problems, research revealed yesterday.

Royal College of Surgeons Psychiatry Professor Mary Cannon said: "Our findings are the first to show there is direct evidence between exposure to childhood trauma and psychotic experience.

"Furthermore, it showed that the end of traumatic experiences was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of psychotic experiences.

"What we're showing in this research is that bullying is happening mainly in school and 10% of physical assault is happening at school.

"The highest proportion for assault was by someone the child knew in school, so it shows if schools intervened early it would eliminate a lot of the traumas."

The study found episodes of psychosis such as hearing voices were an issue of concern.

A total of 1,112 schoolbased teens aged from 13 to 16 years old were assessed at the start of the study, after a three-month period and again after 12 months.

1,112 the number aged 13 to 16 studied over 12-month Royal College Surgeons During this time, they were surveyed about physical assault, bullying and psychotic experiences.

Prof Cannon added: "The children were given a six-item questionnaire about bullying and the more of those questions the young person said 'yes' to, the more likely they were to later report hearing voices or having some kind of psychotic experience. …