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What are the adult health consequences of childhood bullying?

Worse than adult verbal abuse

❶Bullying and victimization of primary school children in England and Germany:

Definition and epidemiology

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What happens to victims of childhood bullying? to bullies?

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.

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. 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.

Adult health outcomes of childhood bullying victimization: King's College London news release , accessed 25 September Health impact of childhood bullying can last a lifetime , Louise Arseneault, Scientific American , accessed 25 September Childhood bullying involvement predicts low-grade systemic inflammation into adulthood, William E.

Duke Medicine news release , accessed 25 September Impact of bullying in childhood on adult health, wealth, crime, and social outcomes, Psychological Science , doi: Facts about bullying , nobullying. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media.

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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Research shows that persistent bullying can cause depression and anxiety and contribute to suicidal behavior. Some experts think that bullying results in a kind of "toxic stress" that affects children's physiological responses, possibly explaining why some victims of bullying go on to develop health problems.

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Verified by Psychology Today. A recent study looked at the long-term effects of childhood bullying in later life. Using a longitudinal database that studied children from ages 9 through adulthood, it was determined that bullying has a major impact on adult health , wealth, and engaging in criminal and risky behavior.

The researchers divided participants into 4 groups: The results clearly showed the long-term negative effects of bullying. Bullies and victims had poorer adult health than the non-bullied.

Those showing the poorest health outcomes were the bully-victims. In terms of engaging in criminal or risky behaviors e. How about wealth and social functioning?

All 3 groups involved in bullying had poorer educational attainment and less income than adults who had not been involved in bullying. These results clearly show that there are long-term negative physical, psychological, and economic outcomes of childhood bullying. Follow me on twitter:. I would be interested in any studies that look into the home environments of those who are bullies, those who get targeted as a victim by bullies, and the bully victims who go on to become bullies themselves.

My theory is that the origin of all aspects of bullying behavior, is their home environment: So, if you know of any studies on bullying behavior that include the bully's background, or the bullying victim's background specifically the home environment RE violent, abusive, or negligent parenting, dangerously violent older siblings, etc I would like to read that.

Any minor child who is a chronic more than two incidents bully, and any minor child who is a chronic more than two incidents bully target or victim of bullying, needs to be removed from their parents because the parents are either chronically abusive toward the child, or are criminally negligent and allowing the child to be bullied IN THE CHILD'S OWN HOME.

Inadequate, irresponsible, negligent, exploitative or abusive parents ought to lose the right to parent, either temporarily or permanently, depending on the case. The minor child would be relocated to a safe, nurturing environment and given therapy, and re-parented to make it clear that bullying will not be tolerated and that kindness and empathy and respect toward others earns rewards. The parents would be fined, required to attend psychological therapy, required to attend parenting classes and would need to pass examinations or tests to show that they are now qualified to parent.

Airline pilots have to have certain qualifications, meet certain standards, undergo rigorous training and pass difficult tests in order to obtain a license to be a pilot; seems to me that parenting is at least as important a job as being an airline pilot. See, that is pretty radical. It would require a huge paradigm shift in our culture, society, and laws RE human rights, parent's rights, etc. But what we have now isn't working very well, so maybe its time to try a radical approach.

Being a victim of mentally abusive father and physically abusive mother myself, I agree something has to be done. How do we know the next environment will be fine? I think the solution is to prevent lousy people having kids in the first place, an impossible propose. I respect your theory but as a 46 year old woman who suffered extreme bullying at school from the ages of about 12 - 15 when I dropped out of school , your theory does not apply to me. I will say, however, that being bullied has had a strong, even to this day, effect on my life.

If you are interested in hearing my story, please feel free to contact me at at your convenience. I can attest that, in my case there was no bullying in my home. I was the oldest.

My siblings were 7 and 10 years behind me, and they were my sisters. Bullying for me started shortly after I was old enough to venture out, and increased exponentially in elementary school. This was many years ago, during a turbulent time for the nation. In fact, I experience all of the consequences described in the article.

It is not easy to have to observe: Firstly, schoolteachers, police officers, and psychology professionals have been the worst bystanders. Secondly, cyber-bullying is cruel, sick-minded, and an anti-social attack on someone's psychological integrity. That is true because that is what bullying is, and cyber-bullying is bullying.

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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.

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I called these "common" effects because I want to convey the idea that you are not alone in experiencing any of these issues. Thanks in part to the study mentioned above and in the video, more attention is being brought to the long-term effects childhood bullying can have on adults.

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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 . But less is known about the long-term psychological health of adults who, as children, were bullies or victims of bullying. Studies of childhood bullying with long-term follow-ups from the early school years through adulthood are lacking, Sourander said.

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Sibling bullying can take many forms, but it is always done with the intention of shaming, belittling or excluding their victim. It can include name calling, threats, constant teasing and enlisting other siblings to join them in the bullying. The Long Term Effects Of Bullying. Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. 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.