Bullying leaves Lasting Marks on Children’s Body and Minds: Study
A new study has suggested that childhood bullying has long-term effects on the sufferers. The study found that those who were initially bullied and then stopped still showed lasting health problems. Symptoms of depression and lower self-worth are examples of the same.
The study looked into children's mental and physical health at three different stages including fifth, seventh and tenth grade. The 4,297 children from Birmingham, Houston and Los Angeles were divided into four different groups: children never bullied children bullied in the past, children bullied in the present only and those bullied in the past and present.
In all, 30% reported they had been bullied. Psychological health of nearly 50% of bullied children was rated as very poor in comparison to 31% and 12% of those bullied in the past only. The study found that 7% of children who had never been bullied still had poor mental health.
The study's lead author, Laura M. Bogart, a Harvard Medical School associate professor in pediatrics, said, "One of the most direct implications from the study is that this is a really strong argument for immediate and early intervention . . . [because] this can really have severe consequences for health".
Dr. Benjamin Shain said parents also have a vital role to play to help their children from battling negative effects of bullying. Parents can encourage their children to talk to them and must try to note any kind of change in the behavior of their children that could be the result of bullying. For example, sudden lack of interest in studies and rapid decline in grades, child is reluctant to go to school and not want to hang with friends. The findings of the study have been published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
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