There has been a growing awareness of the seriousness of bullying in our schools. Stopbullying.gov states that bullying may include actions such as spreading rumors, making threats, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. The Association for Psychological Science reported in a news release on Aug. 19, 2013, the effects of bullying may last long into adulthood.
Some of the adverse outcomes in adulthood confronted by those exposed to bullying in childhood include struggling to hold down a regular job, and poor social relationships. A new study published by the journal Psychological Science highlights the extent to which the risk of problems which are related to health, poverty, and social relationships are intensified by exposure to bullying.
Psychological scientist Dieter Wolke has said, “We cannot continue to dismiss bullying as a harmless, almost inevitable, part of growing up.” Wolke takes the position that this mindset should be changed and bullying should be recognized as a serious problem for both individuals and the country as a whole.
Victims of bullying have been found to be over six times more likely to be diagnosed with serious illness, smoke regularly, or to develop a psychiatric disorder in comparison to those not involved in bullying. The study revealed very few ill effects of actually being the bully.
Although childhood psychiatric problems and family hardships were found to be prevalent among bullies, the act of bullying itself didn’t seem to be associated with a negative impact in adulthood. The bottom line is it is those who are bullied who generally suffer the most
and so this serious problem should be confronted more aggressively.