Addressing Bullying in Schools: New Research

Kids who bully others and kids who are victimized by bullies each face an increased risk of psychiatric disorders by early adulthood, according to a study recently published in the journal Pediatrics. According to comprehensive study data, frequent bullying behavior in childhood reliably predicted antisocial personality, substance abuse, and depressive and anxiety disorders. Frequent episodes of victimization predicted future anxiety disorders in adolescence.

Data collection for the study began in 1989 on 2,540 boys born in 1981. Information about bullying behavior was gathered from parents, teachers and children when the boys were 8 years old, and final mental health outcomes were determined from medical records and psychiatric evaluations of the boys when they were between the ages of 18 and 23.

Bullying can't always be prevented, but once it has occurred, addressing it becomes a matter of some urgency. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, bullying is becoming a more common phenomenon.

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