Bullying is a common experience for many children and adolescents. It’s estimated that close to 1 out of every 2 children will encounter bullying at some point while attending primary or secondary school.
A new study finds that, at any age, bullying is associated with worse mental and physical health for years to come.
The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, reveal the long-term adverse effects bullying can have on a child’s health. The longer the period of time a child is bullied, the more severe and lasting the impact can be on a child.
This study is the first to examine the compounding effects of bullying from elementary school through high school. The researchers gathered data from 4,297 children and adolescents from fifth to tenth grade. Throughout the course of the study, the researchers would periodically interview the participants about their mental and physical health and their experiences with bullying – including whether they were victims of bullying or were themselves bullying other children.
The researchers found that bullying at any age was associated with poor mental and physical health as well as low self-esteem and increased depressive behavior. Additionally, children who experienced chronic bullying expressed increased difficulties with participating in team sports and other physical activities.
Bullying prevention and intervention programs are essential for children and adolescents. Prior experiences with bullying can have lasting effects on children and their health. Parents can help by talking to their children about bullying and if they experience any sort of physical, verbal, or electronic harassment.
NeuroNet note: NeuroNet Programs use physical exercise and rhythmic movement to develop endurance, strength and coordination. These physical activities also include academic tasks (listening, talking, calculating and handwriting). All NeuroNet exercises improve multitasking, or executive function, by integrating exercise and academic skills.
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