The implications and effects of being bullied at any age are always serious, and a new study has shed light on just how seriously it can impact upon a child’s life.
According to a new study published this week in The Lancet Psychiatry, being bullied as a child is worse for a person’s mental health than suffering abuse or neglect.
The claims were made by scientists who examined the cases of 5,500 children, and is the first study of its kind to directly compare the effects of maltreatment by adults and bullying by peers on mental health outcomes.
Researchers found that children who endure bullying at school are almost five times more likely to suffer anxiety, while they face double the risk of developing depression or experiencing self-harm at 18, compared to those who have not encountered bullies.
“Until now governments have focused their efforts and resources on family maltreatment rather than bullying,” said investigating Professor Dieter Wolke.
He added: “Since one-in-three children worldwide report being bullied, and it’s clear bullied children have similar or worse mental health problems later in life to those who are maltreated, more needs to be done to address this imbalance.”
Professor Wolke went on to urge schools and health services to pay heed to the study’s findings and work together to efficiently address the problem of bullying.
As parents it is advised that you familiarise yourself with the signs of bullying.