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Bullying hurts children for the long term

Saturday, March 08, 2014 by: Sandeep Godiyal
Tags: bullying, psychological trauma, children

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(NaturalNews) Experts have long maintained that, in spite of the feeling in the past that it is simply harmless teasing, bullying is detrimental to the children that it is inflicted upon. New research has shown that bullying has profound effects on the health of children, both as it is occurring, and long into the future.

While bullying has been associated with embarrassment at being the recipient of another's person's humiliating behavior, the effects go much deeper than that. Bullying can get physical and result in an array of signs that are visible. These include torn clothing, cuts, scrapes, bruises, lost or missing homework and the like.

There are also emotional effects that the person being bullied experiences. Because these signs are not as visible, they can be harder to recognize. As a result, these effects are sometimes downplayed, or even ignored altogether. This can be a mistake as these emotional wounds can cause severe, long term problems for the child.

Research shows that continuous bullying has effects that result in lowered self esteem, as well as a decrease in the mental and physical health of the child. Bullying that is chronic in nature can even have an effect on the everyday tasks in a child's life. Tasks such as running, walking and participating in sports could become difficult, or even impossible, for the child to accomplish.

Effects of bullying are not outgrown

As children move through their childhood, and into adulthood, the effects of bullying continue to linger. A clinical psychologist, William Copeland, headed at study on bullying at Duke University. He found that the effects of childhood bullying can lead to children growing up as less mentally stable adults. Many of the children that were bullied grew up with depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety that were still present as they entered adulthood.

Researchers in the study followed 1,420 children for 20 years, assessing them at various ages until they turned 16. Once they turned 16, they were seen again for follow ups when they turned 19, 21 and 25 years of age. Though researchers are not sure why the effects of chronic bullying have such a dire effect on its victims, they speculate that it is much like the effects that a child incurs being the subject of abuse or mistreatment in the home as they grow up.

Because children spend a great deal of time at school, researchers believe that this continuous mistreatment of them by their peers results in long term effects that are devastating to them, even as adults. Copeland, the lead researcher in the study, speculated that the effects of treatment at school could be even more important than the treatment children receive at home. More research is needed to determine why some kids that are bullied are more able to bounce back from their trauma.

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About the author:
Sandeep has written many health field articles for both Internet and print publication. He currently writing for insurancetips4u.co.

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