Childhood bullying has long-term health consequences: Study

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Attention parents! Make sure that your kids are prevented from being bullied in school because the effects of bullying in childhood can last a lifetime, says a research.

It says that the long-term effects of bullying can be observed in both the bullied and the bully.

According to the study, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, while bullied kids can have depression and anxiety in adulthood, the bullies may have less chronic stress and might actually reap health benefits of increasing their social status through bullying.

“Our findings look at the biological consequences of bullying, and by studying a marker of inflammation, provide a potential mechanism for how this social interaction can affect later health functioning,” said lead author William E. Copeland.

Earlier studies have suggested that victims of childhood bullying suffer social and emotional consequences into adulthood, including increases in anxiety and depression.


Yet, bullied children also report health problems, such as pain and illness susceptibility, which may extend beyond psychological outcomes.

“Among victims of bullying, there seems to be some impact on health status in adulthood,” said Copeland, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Duke University.

“In this study, we asked whether childhood bullying can get 'under the skin' to affect physical health.”

In the current study, researchers measured blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of low-grade inflammation and a risk factor for health problems including metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

Although CRP levels rose for all groups as they entered adulthood, victims of childhood bullying had much higher CRP levels as adults than the other groups.

In fact, the CRP levels increased with the number of times the individuals were bullied.

According to Copeland, CRP is a sign of stress on the body and “a harbinger of health problems down the road.”

With Agency Inputs

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