A youth clutches her knees

Bullying and mental health: The ties that bind

A youth clutches her knees

Bullying has had huge pickup in the media recently. It’s been a growing concern for years, but a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, and highlighted in the Boston Globe, shows the long-term impact bullying can have on the mental and physical health of students.

This excerpt from the Boston Globe article highlights the mental health impact over time.

Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and elsewhere followed nearly 4,300 children over a five-year period from fifth grade through 10th grade. They found that 30% of them had been bullied at some point, while those who experienced bullying on a weekly basis were more likely to be in poor mental health — depressed, angry, anxious, or sad — compared to those who were never bullied.

Not surprisingly, kids who experienced threatening behavior from their peers during the entire study were the worst off. Nearly 45% of this group had the worst mental health status compared with 31% of those who were currently being bullied and 12% of those who had been victims only in the past. Only 7% of those who had never experienced bullying had poor psychological health.

“Our finding clearly shows lingering effects from being bullied in the past, but the worst effect is when bullying is continuous and repeated over time,” said study leader Laura Bogart, a social psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The study also notes that early intervention is essential to reverse the long-term health  of bullying. As bullying gains more publicity, what do you think we should do to support youth? How can we help our kids stay above the turmoil in school and online?


  1. I believe we need to focus on teaching and empowering our children to find their own voices, and to show up in life with kindness, compassion, grace, forgiveness, and love.

    I had a conversation with my ten year old daughter a couple of weeks back, when she brought up that a boy in her gymnastics class was not so nice to her.
    “Sweetie, you need to remember he is the only boy in a class full of girls, how do you think that makes him feel? Maybe, he isn’t treated so nicely at home, or by other girls. This doesn’t condone his behaviour, however it does give you the opportunity to look at what is possibly going on in his life.”

    A week later, we were driving, and a lady was stopped in the middle of the road. I had experienced a frustrating day of driving, and out loud I said “What on earth are you doing?” My ten year old daughter said, “Mom, maybe something is wrong, maybe her car broke down or she’s not feeling well.” – Compassion!!!

  2. Justice what parents want if this thing happen to their child. Stronger protection is what all we nee to control this progressing incident to the young. My dear parents let us give higher protection to our young I have search an app that could the a big help for your children this is a safety app. that can install to your cell phone this will connect the family member and even the 911@http://bit.ly/1nctEuL. We should monitor our child every now and then protection is all what we need be safe.

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