Bullying Experiences of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service-users: A Pilot Survey
Victims and perpetrators of bullying experience a variety of psychological problems. The aim of the current pilot study was to explore the bullying experiences of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) service-users. The investigation was conducted as a cross-sectional survey at a community-based specialist CAMH service. A modified version of the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire was used to assess bullying experiences. Participants comprised an opportunity sample of 26 adolescent male and female CAMH service-users. Results indicated that 61.5% of participants reported being bullied. Clear links were made between being bullied and the mental health of participants, with 62.5% of bullied participants reporting that being bullied was a "moderately important-very important" reason for their attendance at the CAMH service. Therapists at the CAMH service made appropriate enquiries about young people being victims of bullying, but more enquiries could be made about young peoples' experiences as perpetrators. Service-users favoured therapist-led bullying interventions such as assertiveness training, therapy and/or psychological coping strategies, and social skills training. These findings underline the need for ecological approaches to dealing with bullying, and suggest that CAMH services could play an important role in establishing and supporting such interventions.
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