Effect of bullying

Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness the bullying.

Victims of bullying are at risk of having psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms and eating disorders.

Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviours into adulthood.

Bullying can have serious negative effects on bystanders and witnesses as well.

In that they’ll learn to perceive their school or environment as unsafe. They may also develop anxiety or depression from witnessing it and may start to avoid school.

Kids who are Bullied

Kids who are bullied can experience many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide.

They are more likely to experience:

  • Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
  • Health complaints
  • Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.

Some bullied children might retaliate with extremely violent measures. Such as abusing or shooting.

Kids Who Bully Others

Kids who bully are more likely to:

  • Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
  • Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school
  • Engage in early sexual activity
  • Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults 
  • Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults

Bystanders

Bullying can have serious negative effects on bystanders and witnesses as well.

They learn to perceive their school or environment as unsafe, may also develop anxiety or depression from witnessing it and may start to avoid school.

Kids who witness bullying are more likely to:

  • Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
  • Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  • Miss or skip school

Because of all these effects, it is important you talk to your kids and find out whether bullying or something else is a concern.

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