Skip Nav

The Short and Long-Term Impact of Bullying

Lifelong effects

❶I don't think I'd ever choose to subject myself to Michael's ministrations in order to have escaped my own bullying experiences you gotta have standards in life , but I know I would have given a lot to have been able to stop them from happening. Kids don't easily outgrow the pain of bullying, according to a new study that finds that people bullied as kids are less mentally healthy as adults.

Signup for our FREE eNewsletter

How Our Helpline Works
Worse than adult verbal abuse
The Short and Long-Term Impact of Bullying

Now, children are fairly narcissistic by their very nature. Children are not born appreciating that other people are actually just like they are with their own needs and independent rights. A long period of development must occur before children grasp that the other people around them have needs and interests just like they do and need to be accommodated and accorded respect.

The golden rule of treating others as you would yourself like to be treated makes no sense to a young child who has not yet matured to the point where this basic appreciation of the individuality of every person has been grasped. Instead, children need to be held in line with what amount to incentives and sometimes punishments for acting as though other people matter.

So by saying that bullying is a narcissistic action, I'm not at all saying that all bullies are narcissists. Adult bullies who have not outgrown their childhood narcissism probably do qualify, but little kids are just going to be that way. This is why I'm not terribly optimistic that we can solve the problem of bullying in our time. 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.

Words and gestures are quite enough. In fact, the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never harm me" is more or less exactly backwards. For the most part, physical damage sustained in a fist fight heals readily, especially damage that is sustained during the resilient childhood years. What is far more difficult to mend is the primary wound that bullying victims suffer which is damage to their self-concepts; to their identities. Bullying is an attempt to instill fear and self-loathing.

Being the repetitive target of bullying damages your ability to view yourself as a desirable, capable and effective individual. There are two ugly outcomes that stem from learning to view yourself as a less than desirable, incapable individual. Being bullied teaches you that you are undesirable, that you are not safe in the world, and when it is dished out by forces that are physically superior to yourself that you are relatively powerless to defend yourself. When you are forced, again and again, to contemplate your relative lack of control over the bullying process, you are being set up for Learned Helplessness e.

At the same time, you may be learning that you are helpless and hopeless, you are also learning how you are seen by bullies, which is to say, you are learning that you are seen by others as weak, pathetic, and a loser. And, by virtue of the way that identity tends to work, you are being set up to believe that these things the bullies are saying about you are true. It would be great if the average person was possessed of unshakable self-confidence, but this just isn't how identity works. Identity is a social process.

Other people contribute to it. Particularly when people are young and have not yet survived a few of life's trials, it is difficult for people to know who they are and what they are made of.

Much of what passes for identity in the young and in the older too is actually a kind of other-confidence, which is to say that many people's self-confidence is continually shored up by those around them telling them in both overt and subtle ways that they are good, worthy people. This is one of the reasons people like to belong to groups — it helps them to feel good about themselves.

Bullying teaches people that they are explicitly not part of groups; that they are outcasts and outsiders. It is hard to doubt the reality of being an outcast and an outsider when you have been beaten or otherwise publicly humiliated.

It takes an exceptionally confident or otherwise well-supported person to not internalize bullies' negative messages and begin bullying yourself by holding yourself to the same standards that bullies are applying to you and finding yourself a failure.

In other words, it is rather easy for bullying victims to note that they have been beaten up and then to start thinking of themselves as weak, no-good, worthless, pathetic, and incompetent. These are the sorts of thoughts that lead to depression, or, if they are combined with revenge fantasies, to anger and rage feelings.

Where the first ugly outcome of bullying unfolds rather immediately in the form of a wounded self-concept, the second ugly outcome unfolds more slowly over time.

Having a wounded self-concept makes it harder for you to believe in yourself, and when you have difficulty believing in yourself, you will tend to have a harder time persevering through difficult situations and challenging circumstances. Deficits in academic performance can easily occur when bullying victims succumb to depression or otherwise become demoralized. They certainly also occur when victims ditch school to avoid bullies.

The deficits themselves are not the real issue. The real issue is that if deficits occur for too long or become too pronounced, the affected children can lose out on opportunities for advancement and further study, and ultimately, employment.

I've read retrospective studies where people report having left school early so as to avoid continued bullying, and this of course will have altered and limited the job prospects they have available to them as adults.

Leaving school may be a dramatic if occasionally realistic example of how early bullying can affect one's life, but there are surely other ways that anger or depression caused by bullying harms and developmentally delays people's progress. Inevitably, it is the sensitive kids who get singled out for teasing; the kids who cry easily; the easy targets. This doesn't much work when you are a kid it is difficult to reinvent yourself without actually moving to a new place , and it can have negative consequences in adulthood when the same children, now emotionally avoidant or angry or cynical adults, find themselves having difficulty entering into or maintaining loving and warm intimate relationships.

A similar form of damage comes when bullied kids internalize negative attitudes concerning aspects of themselves that set them apart from others, such as their sexual orientation, minority group membership, or religious affiliation.

In such cases, bullying sets up a peer pressure to reject aspects of one's self which are fundamentally not rejectable, and thus a potentially lifelong tension gets set up inside that person. If anyone out there has a better idea for how someone can end up become a homosexual-hating homosexual, or a jew-hating jewish person or other seemingly self-contradictory person I'd like to know about it.

The following list, culled from my reading on this subject, summarizes some of the effects bullying victims may experience:. A few interesting observations of factors that seem to lessen the negative impact that bullying has on people have come to my attention during the process of cataloging the ways that bullying can mess you up.

A Spanish college student sample study suggests that there is a direct relationship between victim's perception of control over their bullying experience and the extent of long term difficulties they experience as a result of bullying. Perception of control and not reality of control was key in this study, as no relationship was found between the various ways that students coped with being bullied and how they turned out. This compares to the 23 percent of the kids who were bullied frequently and had sought help for a psychiatric problem before age The group that fared worst in terms of adult mental health were the children who were frequently bullies and were also bullied themselves.

About 31 percent of these children had psychiatric problems that required treatment, as well as the highest rates of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and substance abuse of all the groups in the study. It also seems peers may be worse than parents when it comes to the psychological effects of disparaging words and harassment.

A study published last year in The Lancet Psychiatry reported that children who were bullied by peers had significant mental health problems as adults — even more significant than children who were mistreated by their parents or caregivers. In his study, Dieter Wolke, Ph. Bullying, in contrast, is repeated aggression by peers — such as verbal taunts, physical attacks, or social exclusion — carried out at least once a week.

The data on maltreatment and bullying in youth correlated to mental health problems in adulthood. One in 3 U. In the United Kingdom, about 16, children permanently stay home from school because they are routinely bullied, and their academic achievement suffers as a result. Bullied children may also suffer from serious illness, inability to focus, poor social relationships, and even have trouble holding down a job as adults.

According to a Duke University study published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, while young adults show long-term ill effects of having been bullied in childhood, those who did the bullying might in some way be healthier than their peers.

The report is based on findings from the longitudinal Great Smoky Mountains Study, which started in and followed 1, children from western North Carolina. Researchers interviewed the participants as many as nine times. The study was led by William Copeland, Ph. This study is the first indication that being a bully might actually be protective.

It measured blood levels of C-reactive protein CRP — a biomarker of chronic inflammation that's been linked to cardiovascular risk and metabolic syndrome — over several points in time. She cautioned against paying too much attention to the lower CRP levels in bullies. Rather than a health benefit, the lower CRP levels might just reflect a difference in the bullies' underlying biology.

The following research aims were investigated in the present study: How do experiences of being involved in bullying in adolescence affect later broad band internalizing and externalizing, and other more specific domains of mental health problems? Do those being involved in bullying show lower levels of psychosocial functioning compared to those non-involved? Do those being involved in bullying in adolescence receive more help for mental health problems and have more hospitalization compared to non-involved?

Sample and assessment points Baseline data T 1 were collected in from adolescents, reflecting an Open in a separate window. Outcome measures in young adulthood T 4 The instruments administered at T 1 and T 2 were re-administered at T 4 albeit with age appropriate adaptations. Statistical analysis One-way between-groups analyses of covariance were conducted to compare outcomes measured with continuous scales among the four bullying involvement groups.

S ASR externalizing problems range 0—74 6. S ASR internalizing problems range 0—80 S ASR attention problems range 0—30 5. S ASR critical items range 0—38 2. S MFQ depressive symptoms 0—68 9. Strengths and limitations The longitudinal perspective in this study captures an important developmental transition from dependent childhood to early adulthood when considerable, if not complete, independence is expected [ 49 ].

Conclusion The present study has some main findings. Acknowledgements We will thank all participants in the study. Compliance with ethical guidelines Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Adult psychiatric outcomes of bullying and being bullied by peers in childhood and adolescence. A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries. Int J Public Health. Bullying victimization among 13 to year-old school children: Int J Adolesc Med Health. Adolescent peer aggression and its association with mental health and substance use in an Australian cohort.

What is the early adulthood outcome of boys who bully or are bullied in childhood? Prevalence of bullying and aggressive behavior and their relationship to mental health problems among to year-old Norwegian adolescents. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. Olweus D, Limber SP. Bullying, depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts. Bullying and psychiatric symptoms among elementary school-age children. Whitney I, Smith PK.

A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in junior middle and secondary-schools. Six-year predictors of problems in a national sample: Young adult signs of disturbance. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry. Annu Rev Clin Psychol.

Bullying, depression, and suicidality in adolescents. Kumpulainen K, Rasanen E. Children involved in bullying at elementary school age: Their psychiatric symptoms and deviance in adolescence—an epidemiological sample. Persistence of bullying from childhood to adolescence—a longitudinal 8-year follow-up study. Trajectories of peer-nominated aggression: J Abnorm Child Psychiatry.

Trajectories of aggression from toddlerhood to age 9 predict academic and social functioning through age J Child Psychol Psychiatry.

Developmental trajectories of victimization: J Appl Sch Psychol. Bullying behaviour among Norwegian adolescents: Fosse GK, Holen A. Cohabitation, education, and occupation of psychiatric outpatients bullied as children. J Nerv Ment Dis. Prevalence of bullying victimisation amongst first-episode psychosis patients and unaffected controls. Toward an experimental ecology of human development.

Swearer SM, Hymel S. Understanding the psychology of bullying: Coping theory and research: Impact of bullying in childhood on adult health, wealth, crime, and social outcomes. Adult health outcomes of childhood bullying victimization: Development of depressive symptoms in early adolescence. Qualgeister und ihre Opfer. Mobbing unter Kindern-und wie man damit umgeth. Manual for the youth self report and the profile. University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry; Parent and child reports of depressive symptoms in children at low and high-risk of depression.

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Psychosocial correlates of depressive symptoms among 12—year-old Norwegian adolescents. DSM-oriented scales and statistically based syndromes for ages 18 to Recognition of psychiatric disorders, and self-perceived problems. A follow-up study from age 8 to age Traditional multiplicity adjustment methods in clinical trials.

Six persistent research misconceptions. J Gen Intern Med. Department of Psychiatry of the University of Vermont. Starr LR, Davila J. Excessive reassurance seeking, depression, and interpersonal rejection: Handbook of bullying in schools: Bullying victimization in youths and mental health problems: Direct and indirect bully-victims: Differential psychosocial risk factors associated with adolescents involved in bullying and victimization. Lonely in the crowd: Br J Dev Psychol.

Risk factors for rehospitalization and inpatient care among pediatric psychiatric intake response center patients. A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. Assessment of factors affecting the validity of self-reported health-risk behavior among adolescents: Archer J, Coyne SM. An integrated review of indirect, relational, and social aggression.

Pers Soc Psychol Rev. Bullying and victimization among Black and Hispanic adolescents. Bullying in Lithuanian schools in Support Center Support Center.

Background

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Four common long-term effects of being bullied posted on April 7, I know that I don't need to tell you that bullying can have lasting effects, but .

Privacy FAQs

Feb 20,  · But most studies on the effects of bullying focus on the childhood period. "The question for our study is what happens long-term, down the road, after they're no longer being bullied and after they're no longer children," Copeland told LiveScience.

About Our Ads

But most studies on the effects of bullying focus on the childhood period. "The question for our study is what happens long-term, down the road, after they're no longer being bullied and after they're no longer children," Copeland told LiveScience. 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.

Cookie Info

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 here. Apr 28,  · The long-term effects of being bullied by other kids are worse than being abused by an adult, new research shows. Among a large group of children in England, those who were bullied were 60% more likely to have mental health problems as adults than were those who suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse.