Durham, NC- Bullied children grow into adults who are at increased risk of developing anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a study led by researchers at Duke Medicine. The findings, based on 20 years of data from a large group of participants enrolled as adolescents, are the most definitive to date in establishing the long term psychological effects of bullying. The study belies a common perception that bullying, while hurtful, inflicts a fleeting injury that victims outgrow.
Of the original 1,420 children, more than 1,270 were followed up into adulthood. As adults, those who said they had been bullied, plus those who were both victims and aggressors, were at higher risk for psychiatric disorders compared with those with no history off being bullied. The young people who were only victims had higher levels of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and agoraphobia
Those were both bullies and victim had higher levels of all anxiety and depressive disorders, plus the highest levels of all anxiety and panic disorder. Bullies were also at increased risk for antisocial personality disorder.
Source Duke University Medical Center/NIMH
Press release dated 20-Feb-2013