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Bullying victimisation and psychosis: The interdependence and independence of risk trajectories

  • Gennaro Catone, Steven Marwaha, Belinda Lennox and Matthew R. Broome

A number of studies have noted an association between being the victim of bullying and psychotic symptoms. We offer an overview of the topic, focusing especially on a developmental perspective. We highlight the results of the latest studies on psychosis across the continuum and its relationship with bullying. Then we summarise the three main explanatory models investigated: developmental, biological and cognitive. We recommend that bullying in psychosis requires careful study of the developmental trajectories involved, and that research should now focus on how personal, social and biological factors interact.


  1. Consider a spectrum of psychosis rather than a dichotomous concept of the disease (present/absent)
  2. Understand that, by preventing bullying, it may also be possible to prevent the development of psychotic symptoms
  3. Reflect that psychotherapy helps to integrate past stressful experiences with current symptoms, providing an alternative interpretation of them

Corresponding author
Dr Gennaro Catone, Department of Mental and Physical Health and Preventive Medicine, Università della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Via Pansini 5, Napoli NA 80100, Italy. Email:
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Bullying victimisation and psychosis: The interdependence and independence of risk trajectories

  • Gennaro Catone, Steven Marwaha, Belinda Lennox and Matthew R. Broome
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