By Amy Norton
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) — School children who bully or are victims of bullying may face higher risks of anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders later in life, a new study finds.
The study, which followed more than 5,000 children in Finland, found that boys and girls who were frequently bullied were at greater risk than their peers of needing psychiatric treatment in their teens or early 20s.
The same was true of boys who were perpetrators of the bullying — with the highest risks of mental health problems seen among boys who were both perpetrators and victims.
The findings, reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, add to evidence that schoolyard bullying can have substantial psychological consequences — and that, at least among boys, those who are both bullies and victims are the most troubled of all.
“Parents and teachers should be aware that frequent school bullying should not be considered normal behavior, but has potentially serious consequences,” lead researcher Dr. Andre Sourander, of the University of Turku in Finland, told Reuters Health in an email.
The study included 5,038 children who were followed from the age of 8 until age 24. At the outset, just over 6 percent of boys and almost 4 percent of girls were being frequently bullied, based on reports from the children, their parents and teachers. Full story.
Filed under: Bullying, Effects of Bullying, Pediatrics, Research Studies Tagged: | Andre Sourander, Archives of General Psychiatry, Bullying, Effects of Bullying, Finland, Research, University of Turku