Bullying Can Take Toll Beyond Childhood

Victims, bullies both face higher risk of psychological issues: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2013 1:57 AM CST
Bullying Can Take Toll Beyond Childhood
Bullying can affect people long after it occurs, a study finds.   (Shutterstock)

Bullied kids are at greater risk of a range of psychological problems years later, a study suggests. "Psychological damage doesn’t just go away because a person grew up and is no longer bullied," says a researcher. And that applies to both sexes, the study finds, challenging earlier research that suggested the long-term toll was more pronounced among girls. This study referred to "a much richer data set," researchers say. "We were actually able to say being a victim of bullying is having an effect a decade later."

Children in North Carolina joined the study at age nine, 11, or 13. Researchers collected data by interviewing the kids and their parents, following 1,270 of them into adulthood, the Globe and Mail reports. Victims had "higher levels of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia," the study says. They suffered 4.3 times the anxiety disorder risk of children with no bullying in their pasts, the New York Times reports. Bullies themselves faced a higher risk of antisocial personality disorders, while male victims and bullies faced 18.5 times the risk of suicidal thoughts. (Read more bullying stories.)

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