Objectives: This study examined the prevalence of depressive symptoms, including suicidal ideation/behaviour, among bullied and non-bullied young people.
Methods: Participants were 209 students, 97 male and 112 female, attending eight urban post-primary schools and aged between 12 and 15 years. Participants were interviewed using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children – Present and Lifetime Version, the Hopelessness Scale for Children, the Scale for Suicide Ideation, and the Suicide Intent Scale.
Results: Data were analysed using a series of non-parametric comparison tests. Being a victim of bullying was found to be significantly associated with depression (χ2 = 10.986; df = 1; p = 0.001) and suicidal ideation (χ2 = 5.811; df = 1; p = 0.022). Results also indicated that victims were more likely to have reported a suicide attempt (χ2 = 5.995; df = 1; p = 0.022). Finally, those bullied were significantly more likely to have been referred to psychiatric services (χ2 = 6.661; df = 1;p = 0.011).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the issue of bullying needs to be re-addressed within Irish schools, with particular emphasis placed on further investigation into the psychological consequences thereof.