Magazine article Psychology Today

Life after the Bully

Magazine article Psychology Today

Life after the Bully

Article excerpt

BEING THETARGET of playground name-calling, ponytail yanking, or online harassment can be detrimental to children's mental health. A recent study In the journal JAMA Psychiatry provides the strongest evidence to date that being bullied at a young age leads to symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well asan increase in paranoid and disorganized thinking. But there is hope: Most of these effects seem to dissipate within a few years.

Through surveys of more than 11,000twins in the United Kingdom, researchers were able to Isolate the extent to which bullying caused negative outcomes, compared to genetic orenvironmental factors. Kids who were bullied as tweens orteens were more likely than their nonbullied siblings to have a wide range of troubles two years later. But at the five-year mark, the anxiety and depression attributable to bullying had disappeared, and the lingering impact on paranoid and disorganized thoughts was small. …

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