By Stephanie Para |Staff Writer|
A new study reveals that childhood bullying trauma may affect a victim’s life well into their retirement years.
The study, Adult Health Outcomes of Childhood Bullying Victimization: Evidence From a Five-decade Longitudinal British Birth Cohort, examined midlife effects of childhood bullying victims.
The authors, Ryu Takizawa, Barbara Maughan, and Louise Arseneult, gathered their evidence from a 56 year old ongoing research data collection on children born in the year 1958 in the United Kingdom called the British National Child Development Study.
“The impact of bullying is persistent and pervasive, with health, social, and economic consequences lasting well into adulthood,” said Takizawa as reported by Forbes’ contributor Alice G. Walton.
The study found that those who were bullied frequently or severely are more likely than their non-bullied peers to have reduced cognitive function, fewer social relationship interactions, and a poorly perceived quality of life at the age of 50, as well as higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders and suicide than their non-victimized peers.
CSUSB Director of the Human Development program and Psychology Professor Eugene Wong added that children who are bullied may develop, not only emotional concerns, but academic and behavioral concerns as well.
The children involved in the study that were frequently bullied were found to have lower educational levels at midlife and the men in the labor market were more likely to be unemployed and to earn less than their peers, according to the study conducted.
The authors concluded their study by emphasizing the need for intervention to reduce bullying exposure in childhood and minimizing long-term effects on the well-being of victims.
“These kind of outcomes may impact their success in life, if not addressed,” said Wong.
Wong believes that while we cannot answer specifically how long the effects of bullying may last due to the unique variability in each case, a child impacted by bullying can definitely be helped.
CSUSB Sociology Professor Ernestine Avila offered her advice to help prevent this problem from developing in bullied children.
“Parents and teachers in early education can help by making it a priority to teach children what bullying is, and the consequences of it,” said Avila.
“[Bullying] can shape you,” said Cadence Loney, a psychology student who has experienced childhood bullying firsthand. Loney believes that bullying awareness is beginning to develop but still needs serious attention.
“I would say there is an increasing awareness of the phenomenon for people in the U.S. I think many people are surprised by the extent to which it is present in schools. Additionally, I think many people are surprised by potential negative impact it has on the child or children who is/are bullied,” said Wong.
Located on campus, CSUSB students who have or are currently experiencing bullying may receive help from the Psychological Help Center. They offer individual, couple, and group counseling for any student, which is included in student tuition.
The center hosts workshop events that cover a variety of psychological problems that students may encounter. Locations and dates are regularly sent to student e-mails.