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Effects of Bullying Can Be Persistent

Effects of Bullying Can Be PersistentA new study suggests the duration, or how long a child is bullied, is a major factor toward assessing the damage the activity may cause on a child’s overall health.

As reported online in the journal Pediatrics, the longer the period of time a child is bullied, the more severe and lasting the impact.

The study is the first to examine the compounding effects of bullying from elementary school to high school.

“Our research shows that long-term bullying has a severe impact on a child’s overall health, and that its negative effects can accumulate and get worse with time,” says the study’s first author Laura Bogart, Ph.D.

“It reinforces the notion that more bullying intervention is needed, because the sooner we stop a child from being bullied, the less likely bullying is to have a lasting, damaging effect on his or her health down the road.”

Bogart and the team collected data for the study by following a group of 4,297 children and adolescents from fifth to tenth grade.

The researchers periodically interviewed them about their mental and physical health and their experience(s) with bullying.

The researchers found that bullying at any age was associated with worse mental and physical health, increased depressive symptoms, and lower self-worth.

Participants who experienced chronic bullying also reported increased difficulties in physical activities like walking, running, or participating in sports.

Those who experienced bullying in the past and were also experiencing bullying in the present showed the lowest health scores.

According to the authors, the study reinforces the importance of early intervention to stop bullying and to be aware of the need to intervene again, even if the bullying is not ongoing, to address the persistent effects.

Bogart and colleagues are calling for increased research to better develop and clinically test bullying prevention and intervention methods.

“There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to addressing bullying,” Bogart says.

“But providing teachers, parents, and clinicians with best-practices that are evidence-based could better assist those at the frontlines helping children cope with this serious problem and lessen the damage it causes.”

Source: Boston Children’s Hospital

Effects of Bullying Can Be Persistent

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Effects of Bullying Can Be Persistent. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/02/18/effects-of-bullying-can-be-persistent/66064.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.