Peer victimization in youth with Tourette syndrome and other chronic tic disorders.

Samuel H. Zinner, Christine A. Conelea, Gwen M. Glew, Douglas W. Woods, Cathy L. Budman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Chronic tic disorders including Tourette syndrome have negative impact across multiple functional domains. We explored associations between peer victimization status and tic subtypes, premonitory urges, internalizing symptoms, explosive outbursts, and quality of life among youth with chronic tic disorders, as part of the internet-based omnibus Tourette Syndrome Impact Survey. A mixed methods design combined child self-report and parental proxy-report (i.e., parent reporting on the child) demographic and quantitative data for affected youth ages 10-17 years addressing gender, mean age, ethnicity and other socioeconomic features, and presence of tic disorders and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Peer "Victim" versus "Non-victim" status was determined using a subset of four questions about being bullied. "Victim" status was identified for those youth who endorsed the frequency of the occurrence of being bullied in one or more of the four questions as "most of the time" or "all of the time". Data from 211 eligible youth respondents and their parents/guardians showed 26% reporting peer victimization. Victim status was associated with greater tic frequency, complexity and severity; explosive outbursts; internalizing symptoms; and lower quality of life. Peer victimization among youth with chronic tic disorders is common and appears associated with tic morbidity, anxiety, depression, explosive outbursts, and poorer psychosocial functioning. Anticipatory guidance, specific bullying screening and prevention, and further studies are indicated in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-136
Number of pages13
JournalChild psychiatry and human development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012

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