Developmental relations between ADHD symptoms and bullying perpetration and victimization in adolescence

Aja Louise Murray, Izabela Zych, Denis Ribeaud, Manuel Eisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

It has previously been hypothesised that individuals with elevated ADHD symptoms are at greater risk of bullying perpetration and victimization. Using autoregressive latent trajectory models with structured residuals (ALT-SR) and four waves (ages 11, 13, 15 and 17) of longitudinal data from the normative z-proso study (n=1526, 52% male), we evaluated the developmental relations between ADHD and bullying using both self- and teacher-reported ADHD symptom data. Analyses suggested that ADHD symptoms primarily increase the risk of bullying perpetration, with a within-person effect of ADHD symptoms on bullying perpetration symptoms identified across ages 13 to 15 (β=.13) and ages 15 to 17 (β=.19) based on self-reported ADHD symptoms and a similar effect identified across ages 11 to 13 (β=.24) and 13 to 15 (β=.29) based on teacher-reported inattention symptoms. There were also some indications of reciprocal effects and effects involving victimization that merit further exploration in future research. Results imply that the content of bullying intervention and prevention programs should take account of ADHD symptoms in order to ensure that those with elevated symptoms can benefit as much as their typically developing peers. This will involve addressing bullying perpetration that may reflect impulsive/reactive aggression and impaired social skills rather than instrumental aggression. Further, programs should go beyond classical curriculum/classroom-based delivery to ensure that individuals with elevated ADHD symptoms can be successfully engaged.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAggressive Behavior
Early online date8 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sept 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • ADHD
  • bullying
  • developmental
  • longitudinal


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