Bullying in teens is more alive than ever before. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 1 in 4 students, grades 6-12, have experienced bullying. Researchers believe this may be because bullying has more platforms now–it’s no longer just in person, but online.
So, bullying is running rampant, but what are the effects? A new study delved into this question and came up with some pretty alarming discoveries.
Study shows effects of bullying don’t stay in the past
A study recently published in JAMA Psychiatry shows the “strongest evidence to date that exposure to bullying causes mental health issues such as anxiety years later.”
The UCL-conducted study is one of the first to offer serious insight into the causal link between future mental health issues and bullying in teens. With over 11,000 participants–all twins–the study took a more indepth view of how bullying in teens can follow a child into adulthood.
By conducting the research using twins, they were able to isolate the impact of bullying more easily. This is because twins share the same environment, family, and situation.
To get multiple perspectives, the parents filled out questionnaires as well as the children. Between the ages of 11 and 14, the participants were asked about mental health issues and “peer victimization.”
After reviewing the years of research, they discovered “a causal contribution of exposure to bullying to concurrent anxiety, depression, hyperactivity and impulsivity, inattention, and conduct problems.” While the effects generally decreased in severity over the next half-decade, those that had gone through bullying had more paranoid thoughts and leaned towards cognitive disorganization.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Jean-Baptiste Pingault, illustrated what this means:
“The detrimental effects of bullying show that more needs to be done to help children who are bullied. In addition to interventions aimed at stopping bullying from happening, we should also support children who have been bullied by supporting resilience processes on their path to recovery. Our findings highlight the importance of continuous support to mental health care for children and adolescents.”
While this study does prove serious links between bullying in teens and future mental health issue, it more importantly highlights the reason bullying needs to be taken seriously.
Currently, it’s treated as something that happens rarely, but statistics show that’s untrue. More than 1 in 4 students have gone through some type of bullying–which means your child has a high risk of being a victim.
Bullying doesn’t stop being an issue once your child graduates; it follows them into adulthood. The effects can be detrimental to their future health, which is why it must be addressed earlier rather than later.
If you believe your child is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s imperative to seek out a professional for further guidance.
blueFire Wilderness helps with bullying in teens
blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens. We help teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with depression, ADHD, anxiety, defiance, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed. We believe that through a balance of self-assessment, insight oriented therapy, outdoor living, adventure activities and academic focus these teens will find their true selves. We provide a supportive opportunity for parents and children to reconnect and strengthen their relationship.
For more information about how we help with bullying in teens at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.