School Bullying Leaves Lasting Impact on Victim: Study

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By Roshni Mahesh | February 17, 2014 11:12 PM EST

Being bullied at the school can leave a greater impact on the child than originally thought, latest research out on Monday, says.

trix0r/Flickr
Being bullied at the school can leave a greater impact on the child than originally thought, latest research out on Monday, says.

Bullying is the kind of behaviour intended to hurt others, physically or mentally. There is no doubt in the fact that school bullying affects a student's physical and academic growth. Previous research has pointed out certain characteristics that make children more vulnerable to bullying at school. Children with observable disabilities, food allergies, cancer and autism are some of them.

In the new study, children who were bullied, no matter at what age, experienced a constant decline in their mental and physical health, making them at the grip of depression and low self-esteem. Children who reported becoming victims of prolonged bullying experienced difficulties in performing essential activities like walking or running and participating in sports.  Children who have been bullied continuously -i.e. both in the past and present displayed the highest decline in health.

These findings are based on the investigation conducted by a team of researchers from Boston Children's Hospital in the US.  For the study, Dr Laura Bogart and colleagues interviewed 4,297 fifth to tenth grade students.

"Our research shows that long-term bullying has a severe impact on a child's overall health, and that its negative effects can accumulate and get worse with time," first author of the study Dr Bogart from Boston Children's Division of General Pediatrics, said in a news release. "It reinforces the notion that more bullying intervention is needed, because the sooner we stop a child from being bullied, the less likely bullying is to have a lasting, damaging effect on his or her health down the road."

The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics.

Bullying has been a topic of discussion lately. A World Health data shows that bullying is widely prevalent across the whole globe. According to the American Psychological Association, about 70 percent of middle and high school students are affected by bullying and nearly 160,000 children miss school each day, fearing of being bullied at school. Children who are bullied are more likely to suffer from depression, low esteem, headaches, stomach aches, poor appetite, nervousness and fatigue, sometimes leading to attempt of suicide, according to bullyingpreventioninstitute.com.

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(Photo: trix0r/Flickr / )
Being bullied at the school can leave a greater impact on the child than originally thought, latest research out on Monday, says.
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