Childhood bullying has long-term effects; Victims can face psychiatric issues as adults

The Herald News
Joliet, Illinois — Pediatricians might consider screening their young patients for symptoms of bullying during routine, preventative check-ups, said Dr. Thomas Moore, pediatrician at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

“When I did a little research I learned that bullying is more common than I thought and it can cause long-term damage,” Moore said. “Both the bullies and the victims have an increased risk of psychiatric problems down the road.”

He cited the increase of both school violence and cyber bullying. “Many of those who did the shootings had been bullied,” Moore said. “Kids now will post pictures and spread rumors on the Internet.”

In May, a study found that children who experience consistent bullying from their peers are more likely to develop psychotic symptoms — hallucinations or delusions — in their adolescent years and risk other mental disorders as adults

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, followed more than 6,400 children in Bristol, England, who were evaluated annually from ages 7 to about 13. Researcher Dr. Andrea Schreier of Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick in England and her colleagues say the results illustrate why childhood bullying should not be tolerated.

Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new policy to help stop bullying in schools, including increased training for teachers and the formation of anti-bulling groups for students. Thirty-eight states, including Illinois, have some form of bullying laws. Full story.


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