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Investigating the effect of bullying on brain development.

SCARS

SCARS (Social Cognitions and Attention for Victims) is part of the NeurolabNL project on the effect of bullying on brain development. This project is funded by the NWA Startimpuls of NWO, awarded to Berna Güroğlu.

Victims of bullying have higher levels of mental health problems. Anti-bullying interventions reduce victimization of bullying, but there are still children left that experience victimization. Four percent of children in elementary school even experience chronic-victimization, meaning that they are continuously victimized over longer periods of time. These chronic victims have higher levels of mental health symptoms compared to not-chronically victimized children. To be able to improve anti-bullying interventions, especially for chronic-victims, we must better understand these chronic-victimization processes.

As bullying is a social process, the social domain might proof fruitful in finding possible new targets for anti-bullying interventions. Therefore, the main goal of the SCARS study is to examine social-cognitive processes and underlying neurobiology of (chronic-)victims of bullying. Thereby gaining insight in vulnerabilities for (chronic-)victimization processes, which might be targeted to increase resilience of chronic-victims.

Our collaborators: Gerine Lodder (TU) and René Veenstra (PI, RUG).