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Keywords:

  • childhood trauma;
  • clinical high risk;
  • cyberbullying;
  • prodromal;
  • psychosis

Abstract

Aim

Several studies suggest an association between experiences of childhood trauma including bullying and the development of psychotic symptoms. The use of communications technology has created a new media for bullying called ‘cyberbullying’. Research has demonstrated associations between traditional bullying and cyberbullying. Negative effects of cyberbullying appear similar in nature and severity to the reported effects of traditional bullying. Our aim was to examine the prevalence and correlates of cyberbullying in those at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis.

Methods

Fifty young people at CHR for psychosis were administered the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire with added questions about cyberbullying.

Results

Cyberbullying was reported in 38% of the sample. Those who experienced cyberbullying also reported experiencing previous trauma.

Conclusion

It is possible that cyberbullying may be a problem for those at CHR of psychosis, and due to the vulnerable nature of these young people may have longitudinal implications.