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The Effects of Bullying

Bullying has Endless Negative Effects

Although it is a well-known fact that bullying has endless negative repercussions for the victims which can haunt them throughout their lives, a new study continues to add to the list.[1] As youth victims of bullying grow older, they may have a more difficult time holding a regular job, experience more health problems—mental and physical—and are commonly unable to build strong social relationships with others.1 According to a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick in the U.K., Dieter Wolke, bullying is far from harmless—it’s effects are lasting and significant.1

Twenty Percent of US Students Victims of Bullying

BullyingA 2011 Center for Disease Control and Prevention survey reported that 20 percent of U.S. students in grades nine through 12 were bullied at some point during their lives.1 Those who were victims were twice as likely to have problems maintaining employment and a steady savings account, leading them to be all the more likely to experience financial problems.1 It was also found that these victims had a difficult time holding long-term friendships and maintaining a good relationship with their parents.1

The victims who also participated in bullying, bully-victims, had the greatest chance of having health problems as they became adults.1 In fact, they were six times more likely to have a serious illness, a psychiatric disorder, and smoke nicotine regularly than those victims who did not bully.1

Unfortunately, victims of bullying have an increased risk of adult psychiatric problems and are 2.5 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than youth who hadn’t been bullied.1 While there are interventions available within school systems, they are still in need of better tools to help identify, monitor, and deal with the effects of bullying.1

According to Psychologist Guy Winch, emotional trauma affects the same areas of the brain that are activated when a person feels physical pain.1 Too many people underestimate how much emotional pain hurts and how significant emotional scars can be.1

Bullies don’t even have to be the child’s classmates. In fact, siblings can be bullies, too.1 Being bullied by a sibling actually leads the victim to have more problems with depression and anxiety as an adult.1

How to Protect Against Emotional Effects of Bullying

When a child has been bullied, it is important to help build up their self-esteem and manage their anger and aggression.1 They need to understand that they are wanted and that they do belong. Some children heal naturally and others are in need of professional help.1 Close friends and family can do wonders by offering emotional support and making a child feel wanted, accepted, and appreciated for who they are.1



[1] Castillo, M. (2013, August 19). Childhood bullying may lead to social, health issues in adulthood. CBS News. Retrieved August 22, 2013, from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57599220/childhood-bullying-may-lead-to-social-health-issues-in-adulthood/

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