The Center for Disease Control (CDC) undertook an investigation into the effects of bullying, in the hopes to find if there is a connection to the increasing teen and adolescent suicide rates.
Upon looking into what is known about suicide, the CDC determined that students exhibit an increased risk when they have multiple stressors coming from personal relationships, family, friends, school or work.
Another finding was that students involved in any bullying behavior (on the giving, receiving, or witnessing spectrum) are more likely to raise the risk associated with characteristics of suicidal teens such as helplessness or hopelessness.
Adolescents and teens that have any involvement in bullying with any additional risk factors for helpless or hopeless feelings have an increased risk of suicidal tendencies. However, there is no clear indication that bullying alone directly causes suicide.
According to the CDC, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can occur in-person or through technology.”
Some of the repercussions of bullying include: depression, anxiety, involvement in interpersonal violence or sexual violence, substance abuse, poor social functioning, and poor school performance, including lower grade point averages, standardized test scores, and poor attendance.
As educators are spending the majority of time throughout the day with students, it is important for preventative bullying and suicide measures be integrated into schools.