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Title: Bullying victimisation and alcohol-misuse in adolescence : investigating the functional relationship and new prevention strategies
Author: Topper, Lauren
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis aimed to examine the functional relationship between adolescent bullying victimisation and alcohol-misuse using two comorbidity models: a causal model and a common underlying mechanism model. This research had 4 main aims: 1) to investigate the risk conferred by adolescent bullying victimisation on alcohol-misuse, focusing on the role of coping-drinking motives; 2) to understand the risk conferred for victimisation from neurotic personality traits previously implicated in alcohol-misuse, whilst focusing on the role of emotional symptoms; 3) to compare the behavioural and neurological emotional vigilance of adolescents who have either experienced bullying victimisation or a severe trauma to non-victimised participants; 4) to investigate the effect over 18-months of personality-targeted coping-skills interventions on reducing victimisation, coping-drinking motives and alcohol-related problems in victims with high levels of neurotic personality traits. These objectives were addressed using data from three independent studies: The Preventure and Adventure studies which administered personality-targeted interventions for adolescents (aged 13-16 years) and the IMAGEN study. Evidence was provided for both comorbidity models. A causal comorbidity model was supported with results showing that bullying victimisation predicted future alcohol-misuse, a relationship mediated by coping-drinking motives. Two neurotic personality domains, which have been previously implicated in alcohol-misuse, predicted risk for victimisation, mediated by the development of emotional symptoms, therefore supporting a common mechanism model of comorbidity. Victims displayed a hypervigilance for fearful face stimuli, which was similar to trauma-exposed adolescents. A combined-victim group with a high level of emotional impact showed increased brain activation for angry and ambiguous faces. Within this group, emotional symptoms were positively associated with increased neural response to angry and ambiguous faces in areas including the anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, results suggest that personality-targeted interventions can reduce victimisation and increase positive coping strategies, in addition to reducing coping-drinking motives and alcohol-related problems specifically for victims of bullying.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available