Predicting bullying: Exploring the contributions of childhood negative life experiences in predicting adolescent bullying behavior

Nadine M. Connell, Robert G. Morris, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Although there has been much interest in research on aggression and in particular bullying, a relatively less charted area of research has centered on articulating a better understanding of the mechanisms and processes by which persons are at increased risk for bullying. Furthermore, those studies that have investigated the linkages between childhood experiences and bullying perpetration have been limited with respect to definitional and operational issues, reliance on cross-sectional data, and the lack of assessing competing explanations of bullying perpetration. Using five waves of data from a community-based longitudinal sample of children followed through age 18 (N = 763), the current study examines the extent to which childhood negative life events in a variety of domains predict adolescent bullying. Results show that early childhood experiences, particularly those within the family and school domains, may alter life trajectories and can act as predictors for later adolescent bullying, thereby underscoring the potential importance that relatively minor experiences can have over the long term. Implications for future research based on these analyses are examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1096
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • adversity
  • bullying
  • longitudinal research
  • onset

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