Experiences of School Bullying Among Internationally Adopted Children: Results from the Finnish Adoption (FINADO) Study
- 814 Downloads
This study investigated the prevalence of and factors associated with school bullying and victimization among Finnish international adoptees. The Olweus bully/victim questionnaire was sent to all 9–15-year-old children adopted in Finland between 1985 and 2007 through the mediating organizations officially approved by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The children were identified through official adoption organizations. The response rate in the target sample was 49.4%: the study sample consisted of 364 children (190 girls, 52.2%). The children’s background factors and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) were evaluated using a FINADO questionnaire. Their learning difficulties and social and language skills were assessed using a standardized parental questionnaire (Five to Fifteen). Of the participants, 19.8% reported victimization by peers while 8% had bullied others. Both victimization and bullying were associated with severe symptoms of RAD at the time of adoption (RR 2.68, 95%CI 1.50–4.77 and RR 2.08, 95%CI 1.17–3.69 for victimization and bullying, respectively). Lack of social skills was associated with victimization (RR 1.74, 95%CI 1.06–2.85) but not independently with being a bully (RR 1.50, 95%CI 0.91–2.45). In a multivariate analysis the child’s learning difficulties and language difficulties were not associated with either bullying others or victimization.
KeywordsInternational adoption Bullying RAD FINADO study
The authors thank the children and families who participated in this study. We are grateful to the Finnish adoption organisations Save the Children and Interpedia, as well as the City of Helsinki for making this research possible. This study was funded by Finland’s Slot Machine Association, Tiukula-foundation, The Foundation for Paediatric Research, Finland, an EVO Grant from Turku University Hospital, the Finnish Brain Foundation, the Arvo and Lea Ylppö Foundation and the Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation.
Conflict of interest
The authors report no conflict of interest.
- 1.Olweus D (1993) Bullying at school. What we know and what we can do, BlackwellGoogle Scholar
- 11.Sourander A, Ronning J, Brunstein-Klomek A, Gyllenberg D, Kumpulainen K, Niemelä S et al (2009) Childhood bullying behavior and later psychiatric hospital and psychopharmacologic treatment. Findings from the Finnish 1981 Birth Cohort Study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 66:1005–1012PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 12.Isaacs J, Hodges E, Salmivalli C (2008) Long-term consequences of victimization: a follow-up from adolescence to young adulthood. Eur J Dev Sci 2:387–397Google Scholar
- 20.Swanson HL, Malone S (1992) Social skills and learning disabilities: a meta-analysis of the literature. School Psychol Rev 21:427–443Google Scholar
- 32.Raaska H, Elovainio M, Sinkkonen J, Matomäki J, Mäkipää S, Lapinleimu H (2011) Internationally adopted children in Finland: parental evaluations of symptoms of reactive attachment disorder and learning difficulties—FINADO study. Child Care Health Dev Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print]Google Scholar
- 36.American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM IV), 4th edn. APA, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
- 40.Rutter M (2008) Implications of attachment theory and research for child care policies. In: Cassidy J, Shaver PR (eds) Handbook of attachment, 2nd edn. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 42.Olweus D (1996) The revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Research Center for Health Promotion (HEMIL Center), BergenGoogle Scholar
- 45.Aalto A, Elovainio M, Kivimäki M, Uutela A, Pirkola S. The Beck Depression Inventory and General Health Questionnaire as measures of depression in the general population: a validation study with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview as the gold standard. Psychiatry Res (in press)Google Scholar
- 46.Kadesjö B, Janols, L-O, Korkman M, Mickelsson K, Strand G, Trillingsgaard A et al. (2004) The FTF (Five to Fifteen): the development of a parent questionnaire for the assessment of ADHD and comorbid conditions. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry Suppl 3,13:III/3–III/13Google Scholar
- 47.Trillingsgaard A, Damm D, Sommer S, Jepsen JR, Ostergaard O, Frydenberg M et al. (2004) Developmental profiles on the basis of the FTF (Five to Fifteen) questionnaire. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 13(Suppl 3):III/39–III/49Google Scholar
- 48.Long JS (1997) Regression models for categorical and limited dependent variables. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
- 52.Bowlby J (1988) A secure base: parent-child attachment and healthy human development. Basic Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 59.Decety J, Meyer M (2009) Imitation as a stepping stone to empathy. In: Handbook of developmental social neuroscience. The Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar