advertisement
31 October 2012

Bullying has long-term health consequences

Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences, including mental health issues, behavioural problems, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol use, and homelessness.

0

Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences, including general and mental health issues, behavioural problems, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol use, and homelessness, a study by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University found.

"What is apparent from these results is that bullying victimisation that occurs early in life may have significant and substantial consequences for those victims later in life," said Leana Bouffard, Director of the Crime Victims' Institute. "Thus, the adverse health consequences of victimisation are much more far-reaching than just immediate injury or trauma. Understanding these long term consequences is important to assessing the true toll of crime on its victims and on society as well as responding to victims more effectively."

The study, "The Long Term Health Consequences of Bullying Victimisation," recommends investing in victim services and effective prevention programmes, such as the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a school based initiative for violence prevention. Programs can help address the immediate trauma, both mental and physical, that victims experience. The full report can be found here.

How the study was done

"This type of investment may also have the added benefit of reducing the long-term deleterious effects identified in this and other studies, thus reducing the high cost of victimisation born by the victims themselves, the health care system and society in general," Bouffard said.

The current study is based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a long term study that tracks a sample of US residents born between 1980 and 1984. Nineteen percent of those surveyed said they had been a victim of repeated bullying.

The study found that those bullying victims had more negative perceptions of their general health and mental health and higher rates of emotional/mental or behavioural problems that interfered with school or work. They were also more likely to have an eating disorder, smoke, consume alcohol, experience subsequent violent victimisation, or be homeless.

"While these are adverse consequences themselves, they may also serve as intermediate mechanism for even more long-term health issues, such as cancer, alcoholism, depression and other serious problems," said Maria Koeppel, co-author of the study.

(EurekAlert, October 2012)

Read more: 

Children with asthma likely to be bullied

Mental health in SA

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

ChildNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Watch out! »

Gross fungal infections you can pick up at the gym

You go to gym to exercise. But make sure the only thing you pick up is a dumbbell and not one of these gross fungal infections.

Holiday health »

Your 10-step asthma holiday checklist

Don’t let asthma ruin your summer holiday. Whether you are travelling or embracing the summer at home, make sure you plan ahead.