Children bullied in schools more prone to mental health issues

DN Bureau

According to recent findings, victims of bullying in secondary school have increased chances of mental health problems and unemployment, later in life.

Representational Image
Representational Image

Washington DC: According to recent findings, victims of bullying in secondary school have increased chances of mental health problems and unemployment, later in life.

The research suggested that victims of persistent or violent bullying suffer the worst consequences.

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As part of the study, the team of researchers that found being bullied in school increases the extent of mental health problems at age 25 by 40 per cent. It also increases the probability of being unemployed at age 25 by about 35 per cent; and for those in work, it reduces their income by around 2 per cent.

According to the researchers, bullying is widespread in schools, and many studies document a negative relationship between bullying and educational outcomes. Bullying is also an important policy issue because of concern that in addition to educational outcomes, being bullied may lead to negative impacts on young people's lives in the long-term, such as low self-esteem, mental health conditions, and poorer job prospects.

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"Our research shows that being bullied has a negative impact on important long-term outcomes, especially unemployment, income, and ill-health. Being bullied causes detrimental effects on children's lives not just in the short-term, but for many years after. These are more pronounced among pupils who experience persistent bullying, or violent types of bullying. Our findings suggest that a more targeted approach to reduce the most extreme forms of bullying may be warranted," said Emma Gorman, one of the lead authors of the study.

The research analysed confidential data of more than 7,000 school pupils aged 14-16 from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England.

The findings were discussed in the Meeting held at the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference.

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About half of pupils involved, who were interviewed at regular intervals until they were 21, and once again at age 25, reported experiencing some type of bullying between the ages of 14 and 16. The information - reported by both the child and parents - recorded how frequently the children were bullied, and what type of bullying they experienced.

Examples of bullying within the study include being called names; being excluded from social groups; being threatened with violence; and experiencing violence. As well as the consequences later in life, the research shows bullying affects the academic achievement of the victims while they are in school, and beyond into further and higher education. (ANI)

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