Skip Nav

Childhood Bullying Can Have Lasting Effects on Mental Health

Connecting with our children for a more compassionate world.

❶They certainly also occur when victims ditch school to avoid bullies. You can't paint everyone with the same brush, and I've encountered a number of excellent teachers through the years.

Lifelong effects

How Our Helpline Works
The Short and Long-Term Impact of Bullying
3 thoughts on “The Long-Term Effects of Bullying on the Victim, the Bully, and the Bystander”

Previous studies have found a link between bullying and a higher risk of mental health problems during childhood, such as low self-esteem , poor school performance, depression and an increased risk for suicide. But less is known about the long-term psychological health of adults who, as children, were bullies or victims of bullying. Studies of childhood bullying with long-term follow-ups from the early school years through adulthood are lacking, Sourander said.

This new study is the largest to date to look at bullying among young children, and it also had the longest follow-up period, tracking children from age 8 until age 29, he said. In the study, the researchers analyzed data collected from about 5, children in Finland. When the children reached age 8, they filled out questionnaires that asked whether they were victims of bullying or had bullied other children, and how frequently this behavior occurred.

Similar questions about bullying were also asked of the children's parents as well as the children's second-grade teachers. Using the information gathered from children, parents and teachers, the researchers divided the kids into four groups: Bullies are more likely to use tobacco and alcohol, to become abusive in their marital and parental relationships, and to engage in criminal activities.

Even children who are not directly involved, either as bullies or as targets, may be adversely affected, Townsend-Butterworth continues. Academically, these innocent bystanders suffer from disruption in the classroom created by a bully or by the teacher disciplining the bully or attending to the victim. These children can also be traumatized by witnessing the bully in action, fearing that they be the next victim or feeling guilty for not helping the target, according to James Garbarino, PhD, author of Lost Boys and Words Can Hurt Forever.

Bullying is also not limited to boys or girls, either. It used to be that only boys could be bullied; girls were teased. Actually, teasing and bullying are one in the same. What is different is how they are expressed by the different genders. As Townsend-Butterworth explains, boys are typically physical in their bullying.

On the other hand, girls are usually more subtle and indirect. Incredibly, bullying can begin as early as preschool. Bullying is also common around the world, in all cultures, ethnicities, and socio-economic classes. Townsend-Butterworth reports research that estimates as many as a third of all school-age children are involved in bullying, either as bullies or victims.

In some schools, such as those with students of mixed ethnicities or socio-economic classes, this number may be higher. Copeland and his colleagues used data from a study begun 20 years ago, which queried 1, children and their parents about general mental health beginning ate age 9, 11 or The kids were assessed annually until age 16, and then they came back for follow-ups at ages 19, 21 and Before age 16, participants were asked whether they had been bullied or bullied others, how frequently, and where any bullying occurred, among other questions.

Using this data, the researchers divided the kids into four groups: Five percent of the kids, or , were bullies only, and The rest were neither. The researchers then looked at the mental health outcomes of each group in young adulthood, controlling for childhood factors such as pre-existing mental health conditions, struggles with home life and childhood anxiety levels. They found that any involvement in bullying boded poorly in adulthood. Pure bullies did not show problems with emotional functioning as adults, Copeland said, which is unsurprising given that they had all the power in their childhood relationships.

But they did show increased risk of developing antisocial personality disorder. People with this disorder have little empathy and few scruples about manipulating others for their own gain.

Signup for our FREE eNewsletter

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Short Term and Long Term Effects of Bullying Bullying can have a variety of short and long term effects for both the victim and a bully. Learn about the psychological and societal effects of bullying .

Privacy FAQs

Bullying Causes Long-Term Emotional Damage The experience of being bullied can end up causing lasting damage to victims. This is both self-evident, and also supported by an increasing body of .

About Our Ads

[ad_1] Bullying is a serious problem faced by our youth today. It does not matter if the bullying takes place in the school, neighborhood or on the internet. It can lead to serious problems for both the victim and the perpetrator. There are short and long term effects of bullying that should be noted for [ ]. Feb 20,  · "By far, being a bully and a victim meant having the worst long-term outcomes," Copeland said. Long-Term Effects Of Bullying: Pain Lasts Into Adulthood (STUDY).

Cookie Info

A recent study looked at the long-term effects of childhood bullying in later life. Using a longitudinal database that studied children from ages 9 through adulthood, it was determined that bullying has a major impact on adult health, wealth, and engaging in criminal and risky behavior. Bullying Causes Long-Term Emotional Damage. The experience of being bullied can end up causing lasting damage to victims. This is both self-evident, and also supported by an increasing body of research. It is not necessary to be physically harmed in order to suffer lasting harm.