Bullying has long-term health consequences

October 30, 2012

Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences, including general and mental health issues, behavioral problems, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol use, and homelessness, a study by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University found.

"What is apparent from these results is that bullying victimization that occurs early in life may have significant and substantial consequences for those victims later in life," said Leana Bouffard, Director of the Crime Victims' Institute. "Thus, the adverse health consequences of victimization are much more far-reaching than just immediate injury or trauma. Understanding these long term consequences is important to assessing the true toll of crime on its victims and on society as well as responding to victims more effectively."

The study, "The Long Term Health Consequences of Bullying Victimization," recommends investing in victim services and effective prevention programs, such as the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a school based initiative for violence prevention. Programs can help address the immediate trauma, both mental and physical, that victims experience.

"This type of investment may also have the added benefit of reducing the long-term identified in this and other studies, thus reducing the high cost of victimization born by the victims themselves, the health care system and society in general," Bouffard said.

The current study is based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a long term study that tracks a sample of U.S. residents born between 1980 and 1984. Nineteen percent of those surveyed said they had been a victim of repeated bullying.

The study found that those victims had more negative perceptions of their general health and mental health and higher rates of emotional/mental or behavioral problems that interfered with school or work. They were also more likely to have an eating disorder, smoke, consume alcohol, experience subsequent , or be homeless.

"While these are adverse consequences themselves, they may also serve as intermediate mechanism for even more long-term health issues, such as cancer, alcoholism, depression and other serious problems," said Maria Koeppel, co-author of the study.

Explore further: Children with mental health disorders more often identified as bullies

More information: The full report can be found at http://www.crimevictimsinstitute.org/publications/.

Related Stories

Children with mental health disorders more often identified as bullies

October 22, 2012
Children diagnosed with mental health disorders were three times more likely to be identified as bullies, according to new research presented Oct. 22 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition ...

New study finds a common bond between school bullies and their targets: alcohol abuse

October 30, 2012
A new study out of the University of Cincinnati finds that both school bullies and their victims are likely to abuse alcohol after a bullying episode. Keith King, a University of Cincinnati professor of health promotion, ...

Recommended for you

Your mood depends on the food you eat, and what you should eat changes as you get older

December 11, 2017
Diet and dietary practices differentially affect mental health in young adults versus older adults, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Certain books can increase infant learning during shared reading, study shows

December 11, 2017
Parents and pediatricians know that reading to infants is a good thing, but new research shows reading books that clearly name and label people and objects is even better.

Twitter can reveal our shared mood

December 11, 2017
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from the University of Bristol have analysed mood indicators in text from 800 million anonymous messages posted on Twitter. These tweets were found to reflect strong patterns ...

New therapy can help schizophrenia sufferers re-engage socially

December 11, 2017
A new therapy aimed at helping young people suffering from schizophrenia to reconnect and engage with the world around them has had promising results, according to a new University of Sussex-led study.

Infant brain responses predict reading speed in secondary school

December 11, 2017
A study conducted at the Department of Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research (CIBR) has found that the brain responses of infants with an inherited ...

Study provides hope that schizophrenia isn't as deep-rooted in affected individuals as previously believed

December 8, 2017
A schizophrenia patient's own perceptions of their experiences—and confidence in their judgments—may be factors that can help them overcome challenges to get the life they wish, suggests a new paper published in Clinical ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.