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Understanding the relationship between schematic beliefs, bullying, and unusual experiences in 8–14 year olds

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J.V. Anilmis, C.S. Stewart, S. Roddy, N. Hassanali, F. Muccio, S. Browning, K. Bracegirdle, R. Corrigall, K.R. Laurens, C. Hirsch, E. Kuipers, L. Maddox, S. Jolley

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-923
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number8
Early online date6 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


King's Authors


Background Cognitive models of adult psychosis propose that negative schematic beliefs (NSBs) mediate the established association between victimisation and psychotic symptoms. In childhood, unusual, or psychotic-like, experiences are associated with bullying (a common form of victimisation) and NSBs. This study tests the mediating role of NSBs in the relationship between bullying and distressing unusual experiences (UEDs) in childhood. Method Ninety-four 8–14 year olds referred to community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services completed self-report assessments of UEDs, bullying, and NSBs about the self (NS) and others (NO). Results Both NS and NO were associated with bullying (NS: r = .40, P < .001; NO: r = .33, P = .002), and with UEDs (NS: r = .51, P < .001; NO: r = .43, P < .001). Both NS and NO significantly mediated the relationship between bullying and UEDs (NS: z = 3.15, P = .002; NO: z = 2.35, P = .019). Conclusions Children's NSBs may mediate the adverse psychological impact of victimisation, and are appropriate treatment targets for young people with UEDs. Early educational intervention to reduce negative appraisals of the self and others may increase resilience to future adverse experiences and reduce later mental health risk.

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