New research has found that the longer the period of time a child is bullied, the more severe and lasting the impact on a child's health.
Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital followed a group of more than 4,000 children and teenagers from fifth to tenth grade. They found that bullying at any age was associated with worse mental and physical health, increased depressive symptoms, and lower self-worth. Study participants who experienced chronic bullying also reported increased difficulties in physical activities like walking, running, or participating in sports. Kids who experienced bullying in the past and were also experiencing bullying in the present showed the lowest health scores.
"There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to addressing bullying," study author Laura Bogart, PhD, was quoted as saying. "But providing teachers, parents and clinicians with best-practices that are evidence-based could better assist those at the frontlines helping children cope with this serious problem and lessen the damage it causes."