A Shared Genetic Propensity Underlies Experiences of Bullying Victimization in Late Childhood and Self-Rated Paranoid Thinking in Adolescence

Background: Bullying is a risk factor for developing psychotic experiences (PEs). Whether bullying is associated with particular PEs, and the extent to which genes and environments influence the association, are unknown. This study investigated which specific PEs in adolescence are associated with earlier bullying victimization and the genetic and environmental contributions underlying their association. Method: Participants were 4826 twin pairs from a longitudinal community-based twin study in England and Wales who reported on their bullying victimization at the age of 12 years. Measures of specific PEs (self-rated Paranoia, Hallucinations, Cognitive disorganization, Grandiosity, Anhedonia, and parent-rated Negative Symptoms) were recorded at age of 16 years. Results: Childhood bullying victimization was most strongly associated with Paranoia in adolescence (r = .26; P < .01), with weaker associations with Hallucinations, Cognitive Disorganization, parent-rated Negative Symptoms (r = .12–.20; P < .01), Grandiosity (r = .04; P < .05), and Anhedonia (r = .00, n.s.). Bivariate twin model-fitting demonstrated that bullying victimization and Paranoia were both heritable (35% and 52%, respectively) with unique environmental influences (39% and 48%, respectively), and bullying victimization showed common environmental influences (26%). The association between bullying victimization and Paranoia operated almost entirely via genetic influences (bivariate heritability = 93%), with considerable genetic overlap (genetic correlation = .55). Conclusion: In contrast to the assumed role of bullying victimization as an environmental trigger, these data suggest that bullying victimization in late childhood is particularly linked to self-rated Paranoia in adolescence via a shared genetic propensity. Clinically, individuals with a history of bullying victimization are predicted to be particularly susceptible to paranoid symptoms.

Not sure about this one. Are they saying that being bullied is in your genes and so is the subsequent paranoia that can develop. ? To me it smacks of X was all right to bully because it was coded in his genes. Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong.
All I know is it’s left me with a very uneasy feeling.
The phrase “victim blaming” keeps running through my head.

What do you mean by (victim blaming)? I dunno if bullies get their genes involved. Anyone can break a nasty habit.

It was your fault you got bullied because you were genetically set up to be bullied.

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I think that’s stupid.

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Even if true this raises the question of why should children who are different be subjected to bullying.
If researchers said there was a genetic reason why children with physical problems were bullied,there would be an outcry.

I don’t think that is what the article is trying to say. These types of articles can be a bit hard to read and put together as it’s mostly statistics and how they relate to each other. I think it’s stating that statistics show that certain genes seem to be present in those how report being bullied. Not that the gene caused them to be bullied.

As worded in second link I provided that strongly suggests they are arguing genetics and if not then there was a lot of bad/clumsy wording going on .

The team’s study of 4826 twin pairs revealed that bullying victimisation was most strongly, although only modestly, associated with paranoia in adolescence, but that this association was “explained almost in its entirety by shared genetic influences.”

“These findings suggest that in childhood there may be inherent genetic predispositions that orientate children’s behavior and thinking styles in such a way that it makes them jointly vulnerable to being victims of bullies and adopting paranoid thinking styles”, say Sania Shakoor (University of London, UK) and study co-authors.

They speculate that a negative attribution style is one factor that could be caused by genetics and account for both bullying victimisation and paranoid thinking.

**Bullying is a traumatic experience for anyone.
For someone with the gene or genes for mental illness this could be more traumatic and stressful.
Some kids are very sensitive too…they may take it harder.

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Try it when the bully is your father or someone in your family…

My father used to beat the crap out of me and just treated me like garbage.

Have you had counselling for it? As it’s a horrible experience to have to deal with alone.

I haven’t had a counselor once since I was diagnosed. I’m a disabled veteran and it’s like they don’t care, they just want to shut me up. It can be really frustrating.

You have a lot of issues to deal with and not just to do with your service.

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A lot of this I don’t think really stems from any past pot usage, but successive traumas at an early age and then more traumas during my experiences in the military. I really am surprised I lasted as long as I did before my mind was just finally broken from these things.

Even if the military offered counselling for your service as they do in OZ. Not sure they would help in dealing with your childhood issues. Most of the military counselling here in OZ tends to be more specialized in PTSD so not sure if it would help in the way you’d like. So comes down to going private counselling.

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I don’t really care anymore lol. I think my life is falling apart from the beginning to the end and I haven’t been this sad for awhile. I feel like I can’t trust anyone, like everything is a huge joke on me and I’m just here to entertain voices in a show…I hate my life and feel like my mind is under control and I don’t care w2hat happens right now. I guess the best thing for me is to just give up, I dunno. I don’t think anyone still knows what I had to do in the m ilitary and I won’t speak about it. I don’t want to, and I don’t trust the VA at all. They just don’t care.

Hang in there! It’s getting late for me so will have to head to bed soon. But don’t want you to feel I’m abandoning you. Take some time to think more on counselling. It took me a while to commit to it and if you’re not ready you’re not ready. It’s as simple as that. But there is help out there for you.


It is awful that these things happened!
It does matter now and there is help

Sorry-hit the enter button!
I just want to say you can start anywhere. One doctor can lead to another until you get a great therapist.
Bless you O

From the article:

These findings suggest that in childhood there may be inherent genetic
predispositions that orientate children’s behavior and thinking styles
in such a way that it makes them jointly vulnerable to being victims of
bullies and adopting paranoid thinking styles.