Bullying scars 'remain 40 years on'

School bullying leaves deep life-changing scars that are still evident after nearly 40 years, a study has shown.

School bullying leaves deep life-changing scars evident after nearly 40 years, a study found
School bullying leaves deep life-changing scars evident after nearly 40 years, a study found

People who suffered bullying as seven and 11-year-olds were disadvantaged physically, psychologically and mentally at age 50, researchers found.

Not only were they at greater risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, but they had difficulty with social relationships and attained lower educational standards.

They also earned less, were more likely to be unemployed, and were in poorer health than those who escaped bullying.

Fewer bullied individuals were in a relationship or had good social support, and more of them reported having a lower quality of life.

Dr Ryu Takizawa, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said: "Our study shows that the effects of bullying are still visible nearly four decades later.

"The impact of bullying is persistent and pervasive, with health, social and economic consequences lasting well into adulthood."

The findings come from the British National Child Development Study which includes information on all children born in England, Scotland and Wales during one week in 1958.

Dr Takizawa's team analysed data on 7,771 children whose parents provided information on their children's exposure to bullying at ages seven and 11.

Just over a quarter of the children (28%) were said to have been bullied occasionally, with 15% suffering frequent bullying. Similar bullying rates still apply in the UK today.

The results of the study are published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Senior author Professor Louise Arseneault, also from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, said: "We need to move away from any perception that bullying is just an inevitable part of growing up. Teachers, parents and policy-makers should be aware that what happens in the school playground can have long-term repercussions for children.

"Programmes to stop bullying are extremely important, but we also need to focus our efforts on early intervention to prevent potential problems persisting into adolescence and adulthood."

She added: "Forty years is a long time, so there will no doubt be additional experiences during the course of these young people's lives which may either protect them against the effects of bullying, or make things worse. Our next step is to investigate what these are."

Comments for: "Bullying scars 'remain 40 years on'"

Mr Majestic

I do think this whole thing is flawed.

Bullying is wrong but is a fact of life in our community/school life /work place/

We do not help by protecting people we must teach them how to deal with it .

We need to teach them how not to be a victim, how to defuse and not actually encourage the bully .

I was bullied from 13 -16 on occasion through my school life i dealt with it by avoiding the bully and not reacting to the bully . My parents did not get involved and allowed me to deal with it , of course if it got totally out of hand they would have dealt with it .

A s an adult i was bullied or i should say they attempted to bully me at the school gates which is popular i simply gave them very short shrift so the bullying was simply gossip behind my back .However these so called middle class parents did not stop there when allowed in to there inner group on occasion they would openly ridicule and make shocking comments about other parents and the children .

My child was once accused of being a bully however on further investigation i found the parents of the so called victim had accused all the children at the school and some teachers of bullying him sadly his parents made there son a victim of the bullies .

You go in to a community and one family is always bullied sad but true .

I have attended private school bullying is rife but the pupils are able to deal with it in general as it is a fact of life even in adulthood .

I had a relative who spent 34 years in the teaching industry it is more of an issue in the staff room than on the play ground.

Work place all of them anyone not know of a person being bullied???.

The whole answer is teaching and helping them to deal with a bully not by complaining and playing the poor old me routine .

I also had a very good friend who i once went out for a meal with locally once .we were all sat in the food area when a guy walked in and walked past our table and gave him a rather odd smirk . My friend followed the guy in to the wc and returned a few minutes later as did the guy with a rather swollen eye . On asking what on earth ?? my friend said the pratt picked on me for 5 years at school i just let him know it was simply not on .

I also encountered my bully in adulthood in the workplace and she to though she could carry on from 20 odd years ago in school although i did not hit out a few stern words about her past behaviour while in the staff room and embarrassing her in front of all put paid to her .