Do you suffer from anxiety and depression as a result of being bullied as a child? Take heart, these mental health disorders may not continue but decrease over time, suggests a study.
- The study found that the detrimental effects of bullying decreased over time.
- In addition,which shows the potential for resilience in children exposed to bullying.
- While our findings show that being bullied leads to detrimental mental health outcomes.
- They also offer a message of hope by highlighting the potential for resilience,said Researcher.
- “Bullying certainly causes suffering, but the impact on mental health decreases over time, so children are able to recover in the medium term.”
- The study involved 11,108 participants.
- By surveying twins, researchers were able to look at the associations.
- Between bullying and mental health outcomes and then account for the confounding effects of their genes.
- Both children and their parents filled out a questionnaire.
- At age 11 and 14 they were asked about peer victimisation and at 11 and 16 they were asked about mental health difficulties.
- The effect sizes were stronger before controlling for shared environmental factors and genetics.
- Confirming that bullying itself is only partly to blame for the poor mental health outcomes experienced by bullied children.
- The researchers found that once confounding factors were removed.
- There remained a causal contribution of exposure to bullying to concurrent anxiety, depression, hyperactivity and impulsivity, inattention and conduct problems.
- Two years later, the impact on anxiety persisted.
- Five years later, there was no longer an effect on any of those outcomes.
- But 16-year-olds who had been bullied at age 11 remained more likely to have paranoid thoughts or cognitive disorganisation.