The impact of bullying and coping strategies on the psychological health of young offenders

Susie Grennana , Jessica Woodhams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the involvement in bullying, the psychological distress, and the coping strategies of 99 males in an English young offenders institution. The Direct and Indirect Prisoner Behaviour Checklist (DIPC; Ireland, 199824. Ireland , J. L. 1998. Direct and Indirect Prisoner Behaviour Checklist (DIPC), Lancashire, , UK: University of Central Lancashire.

View all references), the 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS; Lovibond & Lovibond, 199544. Lovibond , P. F. and Lovibond , S. H. 1995. The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) with the Beck depression and anxiety inventories. Behaviour Research Therapy, 33: 335–343.
[PubMed], [Web of Science ®]
View all references) and the 48-item Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ; Roger et al., 199353. Roger , D. , Jarvis , G. and Najarian , B. 1993. Detachment and coping: The construction and validation of a new scale for measuring coping strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 15: 619–626.
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View all references) were administered. Over 60% of prisoners were involved in bullying (as a victim or bully), as indicated by responses on the DIPC. Emotional and avoidance coping were significantly related to psychological distress. Bully/victims were significantly more depressed than prisoners not involved in bullying, and being a bully/victim was a significant predictor of higher stress scores. Significant correlations were observed between all psychological distress measures and the number of bullying behaviours experienced by prisoners. These findings are discussed in relation to their implications for prisoner care and avenues for future research are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-504
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2007


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