Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Lingering Effects of Bullying on Child Development

While bullying isn’t something new, it has certainly affected the lives of millions of people around the world. Especially with the increased use of the Internet and social media, bullying has evolved into different forms, affecting children not only in school but almost anywhere. 

The sad fact is, bullying can affect a child’s development, and it is linked to many long-lasting adverse effects.

A study by Warwick University revealed that bullying during childhood can have long-term consequences. Bullied children can still experience the physical and mental health effects of bullying 40 years later in their adulthood. Respondents were tested for psychological distress and general health problems at the ages 23 and 50, for psychiatric problems at 45, and for cognitive functioning, social relationships and well-being at 50.

The effects of bullying, however, does not only affect those who were bullied. According to, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, bullying is linked to many negative effects, including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide of kids who are bullying others and of bystanders who have witnessed bullying. 

Bullies, for example, have been identified to engage more in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood, while children who witness bullying are more likely to have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. 

For years, bullying has repeatedly been discussed in the media and communities, but, unfortunately, such attention on its effects often leads to more misconceptions. As a family, a friend, or a member of the society, there are many ways to act against bullying. If you know a child or are the parent of a child who is being bullied, the first thing they need is your support.

More news and updates on psychiatric health can be accessed though this Jonathan Lauter, M.D., blog.

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