By Yolanda Spivey
For the past decade, the subject of bullying has been at the forefront in every public school across America. With the influx of school students committing suicide, public schools have enacted strict no bullying policies, but unfortunately, bullying still continues.
A study recently published by Pediatrics.aapublications.org shows that although bullying might stop at a certain point in an adolescent’s life, it leaves a profound adverse affect on their health later in their lives.
Over 4,297 students participated in this study. The children were from the states of Alabama, California and Texas and were all tested three times in their life—starting in the fifth, then seventh and finally tenth grade. The study proved that those who were bullied in their earlier years showed signs of having mental and physical health problems as they’ve gotten older. They were often depressed and had a lower self-esteem than those who weren’t bullied when they were younger.
In total, 45 percent of them had low mental health measurement while another 22 percent had poor physical health scores. Their mental health was measured by examining their emotions, and their physical health was measured by the child’s ability to walk far or pick up heavy objects.
Laura Bogart, a representative from Boston Children’s hospital recently told Reuters Health, “I think this is overwhelming support for early interventions and immediate interventions and really advancing the science about interventions.”
She further stated, “The results still support the general pattern of more recent and chronic bullying being related to worse health, as compared to kids who are not bullied or bullied in the past only.”
Over the years there have been very few studies that examined the longitudinal associations of bullying. Now clinicians are recognizing that bullying, when it first starts, should be intervened immediately so that the ones getting bullied wont’ suffer from any adverse health effects later in their lives.