Validation of the Bullying Scale for Adults - Results of the PRONIA-study

PRONIA, Theresa Katharina Haidl, Nicole Schneider, Kim Dickmann, Stephan Ruhrmann, Nathalie Kaiser, Marlene Rosen, Mauro Seves, Thorsten Lichtenstein, Rachel Upthegrove, Raimo K.R. Salokangas, Christos Pantelis, Eva Meisenzahl, Stephen J. Wood, Paolo Brambilla, Stefan Borgwardt, Lencer Rebekka, Joseph Kambeitz, Nikolaos Koutsouleris, Frauke Schultze-LutterLinda Betz, Anne Erkens, Eva Gussmann, Shalaila Haas, Alkomiet Hasan, Claudius Hoff, Ifrah Khanya-ree, Aylin Melo, Susanna Muckenhuber-Sternbauer, Janis Köhler, Ömer Öztürk, Nora Penzel, David Popovic, Adrian Rangnick, Sebastian von Saldern, Rachele Sanfelici, Moritz Spangemacher, Ana Tupac, Maria Fernanda Urquijo, Johanna Weiske, Antonia Wosgien, Dennis Hedderich, Karsten Blume, Christiane Woopen, Christina Andreou, Laura Egloff, Fabienne Harrisberger, Claudia Lenz, Letizia Leanza, Amatya Mackin-tosh, Renata Smieskova, Erich Studerus, Anna Walter, Sonja Widmayer, Christopher Day, Sian Lowri Griffiths, Mariam Iqbal , Mirabel Pelton, Pavan Mallikarjun, Alexandra Stainton, Ashleigh Lin, Alexander Denissoff, Anu Ellilä, Tiina From, Markus Heinimaa, Tuula Ilonen, Päivi Jalo, Heikki Lauri-kainen, Antti Luutonen, Akseli Mäkela, Janina Paju, Henri Pesonen, Reetta-Liina Armio , Anna Toivonen, Otto Turtonen, Ana Beatriz Solana, Manuela Abraham, Nicolas Hehn, Timo Schirmer, Carlo Altamura, Marika Belleri, Francesca Bottinelli, Adele Ferro, Marta Re, Emiliano Monzani, Mauro Percudani, Maurizio Sberna, Armando D'Agostino, Lorenzo Del Fabro, Giampaolo Perna, Maria Nobile, Alessandra Alciati, Matteo Balestrieri, Carolina Bonivento, Giuseppe Cabras, Franco Fabbro, Marco Garzitto, Sara Piccin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Bullying as a specific subtype of adverse life events is a major risk factor for poor mental health. Although many questionnaires on bullying are available, so far none covers bullying retrospectively throughout school and working life. To close this gap, the Bullying Scale for Adults (BSA) was designed.

    Based on data of 622 participants from five European countries collected in the prospective multicenter Personalized Prognostic Tools for Early Psychosis Management (PRONIA) study, we investigated whether the BSA is a reliable and valid measurement for bullying and whether there is a difference across different diagnostic groups of early mental disorders (recent onset depressive/ psychotic patients, patients at clinical high-risk of psychosis) and healthy controls.

    Bullying experiences were significantly less frequent in healthy controls than in patient groups, with no significant differences between the three clinical groups. The BSA exhibited a high item scale discrimination (r > .3) and very good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = .93). Four factors were identified: 1. Sexual harassment, 2. Emotional Abuse, 3. Physical Abuse, 4. Problems at school. The highly significant correlation between bullying, and childhood adversities and trauma (r = .645, p < .001) indicated good concurrent validity.

    The BSA is the first validated questionnaire that, in retrospective, reliably records various aspects of bullying (incl. its consequences) not only throughout childhood but also working life. It can be used to assess bullying as a transdiagnostic risk factor of mental disorders in different mental disorders, esp. psychosis and depression.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)88-97
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
    Early online date11 May 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

    Bibliographical note

    © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    PRONIA is a Collaborative Project funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement n° 602152. CP was supported by NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship (628386 & 1105825) and EU-NHMRC grant (1075379). Role of Funding Sources The funding organizations stated above were not involved in the design and conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.


    Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of the Bullying Scale for Adults - Results of the PRONIA-study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this