Young bullies and bullying victims ‘more likely to suffer psychiatric problems and depression as adults’ [Mirror, by Stephen Beech, 09/12/2015]

New research builds on the previous evidence bullying or being bullied may contribute to later mental health problems.

Youngster who are bullied are more likely to suffer psychiatric problems and depression when they grow up, a study shows.

The young bullies themselves are also at greater risk of disorders needing treatment in later life – compared to children who grew up without being exposed the bullying.

New research builds on the previous evidence bullying or being bullied may contribute to later mental health problems.

For the new study, published online by JAMA Psychiatry, researchers looked at associations between bullying behaviour at the age of eight and adult psychiatric problems by the age of 29.

The study used figures from more than 5,000 children in Finland and assessments of bullying and exposure to bullying were based on information from the youngsters, their parents and teachers.

Information on the use of inpatient and outpatient services to treat psychiatric disorders from ages 16 to 29 was obtained from a nationwide hospital register.

Around 90 per cent of the participants did not engage in bullying behaviour and, of those, 11.5 per cent had received a psychiatric diagnosis by follow-up.

 

In comparison, 33 of the 166 participants who engaged in frequent bullying (19.9 per cent), 58 of 251 frequently exposed to bullying (23.1 per cent), and 24 of 77 who both frequently engaged in and were frequently exposed to bullying (31.2 per cent) had psychiatric diagnoses by the age of 29.

The study participants were divided into four groups: those who never or only sometimes bully and are not exposed to bullying; those who frequently bully but are not exposed to bullying; those who were frequently only exposed to bullying; and those who frequently bully and are exposed to bullying.

The treatment of any psychiatric disorder was associated with frequent exposure to bullying, as well as with being a bully and being exposed to bullying.

Exposure to bullying was associated with depression, according to the results.

The findings showed that participants who were bullies and exposed to bullying at age eight had a “high risk” for several psychiatric disorders that required treatment when they were adults.

The researchers said the main limitation of the study was the lack of understanding about how bullying or exposure to bullying may lead to psychiatric disorders.

Corresponding author Doctor Andre Sourander, of the University of Turku in Finland, said: “Future studies containing more nuanced information about the mediating factors that occur between childhood bullying and adulthood disorders will be needed to shed light on this important question.

“Policy makers and health care professionals should be aware of the complex nature between bullying and psychiatric outcomes when they implement prevention and treatment interventions.”

Study: Depression High Among Cyber Bullying Victims [Source: The IndyChannel.com, 22/09/2010]

New research from the National Institutes of Health found depression is high among victims of school cyber bullying.Unlike traditional forms of bullying, kids who are the targets of cyber bullying at school are at a higher risk for depression than are the youth who bully them, according to the study.

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The results are in contrast to previous studies on traditional bullying that found the highest depression rates were among bully-victims — those who both bully others and are bullied themselves, 6News’ Renee Jameson reported.

Victims of cyber bullies may also feel more helpless and isolated at the time of the attack, experts said.

“Not only can you rally more troops to promote social isolation or to spread an unkind rumor about somebody using a text message on your cellular phone, but you can also do it much more quickly and do it repeatedly, and you can do it as often as you want,” said Vaughn Rickert with the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Center Grove Schools Police Chief Bill Spitler said he’s well aware of the problems cyber bullying can cause.

“When you start talking about people’s self-esteem and how the kids feel about themselves, really, at the core of everything, that’s all we all have is how we imagine what ourselves look like, what we feel about ourselves,” he said.

Sptiler talked to all middle school students in his district this year about the dangers and ramifications of cyber bullying.

“Technology makes it more difficult, and kids need to understand that it’s not OK. But, it is a way of doing it, and it’s kind of secretive,” Spitler said.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration advises parents to encourage children to tell them right away if they are victims.

Experts also advise parents to talk to their children about what’s happening in school and to contact a teacher, principal or the school superintendent if there is a problem.