Bullying has lingering effect on mental health
Bullying can have a long-lasting impact on the mental health of its victims, concludes a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Kids who were repeatedly targeted for bullying were found to have poorer mental and physical health, increased symptoms of depression and lower self-esteem. Those kids who had been recently bullied also fared worse than kids who had been picked on further in the past.
For the study, researchers surveyed 4,300 students attending public schools in Los Angeles, Houston and Birmingham, AL. They collected data from students in fifth, seventh and 10th grade, and also surveyed their parents. The kids were asked about physical bullying, as well as the mental and physical well-being.
Results showed that in all three grade levels, those who had never been bullied were the most psychologically healthy. Those who had been bullied in the past had lasting psychological wounds, but were not as bad as kids who were currently being bullied.
Researchers say the results show that early intervention is essential in bullying to prevent these lasting effects on kids.