Lonely in the crowd: recollections of bullying

Mechthild Schäfer, Stefan Korn, Peter K. Smith, Simon C. Hunter, Joaqún A. Mora-Merchán, Monika M. Singer, Kevin van der Meulen, M. Barrett (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the long-term correlates of victimization in school with aspects of functioning in adult life, using a specially designed Retrospective Bullying Questionnaire, which also included questions about short-term effects (e. g. suicidal ideation and intrusive memories) and victimization experiences in adulthood. Current relationship quality was assessed in terms of self-perception, attachment style and friendship quality. In total, 884 adults (35% male) from two occupations (teacher, student) and three countries (Spain, Germany, UK) participated. Victims and especially stable victims (in both primary and secondary school) scored lower on general self-esteem and higher on emotional loneliness, and reported more difficulties in maintaining friendships, than non-victims. Victims in secondary school had a lower self-esteem in relation to the opposite sex and were more often fearfully attached. The data revealed additional differences by gender, occupation and country level, but no further interactions with victim status. This indicates a general association between victimization in school and quality of later life predominately robust to variations in gender, occupation and country. Possible limitations caused by the retrospective nature of victimization reports are acknowledged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-394
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • bullying
  • coping strategies
  • school
  • educational psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Lonely in the crowd: recollections of bullying'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this