Published online Feb Dieter Wolke 1 and Suzet Tanya Lereya 2. For permission to use where not already granted under a licence please go to http: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Abstract Bullying is the systematic abuse of power and is defined as aggressive behaviour or intentional harm-doing by peers that is carried out repeatedly and involves an imbalance of power.
Definition and epidemiology Bullying is the systematic abuse of power and is defined as aggressive behaviour or intentional harm-doing by peers that is carried out repeatedly and involves an imbalance of power , either actual or perceived, between the victim and the bully.
Box 1 Bullying screener. Direct bullying refers to harming others by directly getting at them. It is done by one or a group of pupils repeatedly against some children at school. Are threatened or blackmailed or have their things stolen. Relational bullying refers to damage relationships between friends and destroy status in groups to hurt or upset someone. Over and over again some children at school: Get deliberately left out of get-togethers, parties, trips or groups.
Have others ignore them, not wanting to be their friend anymore, or not wanting them around in their group. Cyberbullying is when someone tries to upset and harm a person using electronic means eg, mobile phones, text messages, instant messaging, blogs, websites eg, Facebook, YouTube or emails Have their private email, instant mail or text messages forwarded to someone else or have them posted where others can see them.
How often have these things happened to you in the last 6 months? How often have you done these things to others in the last 6 months?
Bullying is not conduct disorder Bullying is found in all societies, including modern hunter-gatherer societies and ancient civilisations. How bullies operate Bullying occurs in settings where individuals do not have a say concerning the group they want to be in. Adverse consequences of being bullied Until fairly recently, most studies on the effects of bullying were cross-sectional or just included brief follow-up periods, making it impossible to identify whether bullying is the cause or consequence of health problems.
Bullying perpetration was strongly linked to delinquent behaviour. Bullying victimisation was associated with delinquent behaviour. Moreover, peer victimisation was both a predictor and a consequence of social anxiety over time. Moreover, a dose—response effect was found: Peer victimisation was associated with higher overall scores, as well as increased odds of scoring in the severe range for emotional and depression symptoms. Victims were also more likely to show persistent depression symptoms over a 2-year period.
Moreover, a dose—response relationship was found showing that the stability of victimisation and experiencing both direct and indirect victimisation conferred a higher risk for depression problems and depressive symptom persistence.
A meta-analytic study showed significant associations between peer victimisation and subsequent changes in internalising problems, as well as significant associations between internalising problems and subsequent changes in peer victimisation.
Being a bully was not a predictor of subsequent depression among girls but was among boys. Also a dose—response relationship was found where stronger associations were identified with increased frequency, severity and duration of being bullied. They were also more likely to display sleep problems such as nightmares and night-terrors.
Pure bullies had the least physical or psychosomatic health problems. Lastly, cyberbullying victimisation was not associated with suicidal ideation. Frequent victimisation by peers was associated with poor academic functioning as indicated by grade point averages and achievement test scores on both a concurrent and a predictive level. Pure victims also showed poor school adjustment and reported a more negative perceived school climate compared to bullies and uninvolved youth. Pure bullies showed poor school adjustment.
Open in a separate window. Being a bully increased the risk of violent, property and traffic offences, delinquency, aggressiveness, impulsivity, psychopathy, contact with police or courts and serious criminal charges in young adulthood.
No significant relationship was found between being a pure bully and anxiety problems. Experiencing more types of victimisation was related to higher risk for depression. On the other hand, Copeland and colleagues did not find a significant association between pure victim status and depression.
No significant association between pure bully status and depression was found. No significant association was found between pure bully status and psychotic experiences. Frequent victimisation in childhood was associated with poor general health at ages 23 and Moreover, pure victims reported slow recovery from illness in young adulthood. No significant association was found between health and pure bully status. They also reported poorer health status and slow recovery from illness.
Bullies were more likely to use illicit drugs and tobacco and to get drunk. Some showed that all types of frequent victimisation increased the risk of suicidal ideation and attempts.
Experiencing many types of victimisation was related to a higher risk for suicidality. However, others only found an association between suicidality and frequent victimisation among girls. No significant association was found between being a bully and future suicidality. Bullies were more likely to have lower educational qualifications. Bullies were more likely to have trouble keeping a job and honouring financial obligations. They were more likely to be unemployed.
Pure bullies had trouble making or keeping friends. Frequent victimisation increased the risk of living without a spouse or partner and receiving less social support at age However, pure bullies were more likely to become young mothers under the age of No significant association between bully status and cohabitation status was found.
The impact of being bullied on functioning in teenagers and adulthood. Processes There are a variety of potential routes by which being victimised may affect later life outcomes.
Summary and implications Childhood bullying has serious effects on health, resulting in substantial costs for individuals, their families and society at large. What we know and what we can do. Do girls manipulate and boys fight? Developmental trends in regard to direct and indirect aggression. Aggress Behav ; The association between direct and relational bullying and behaviour problems among primary school children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry ; Children's treatment by peers: Victims of relational and overt aggression.
Dev Psychopathol ; 8: Distinct groups of at-risk youth. J Early Adolesc ; Stability, self-perceived competence, peer perceptions and peer acceptance. Br J Dev Psychol ; Social determinants of health and well-being among young people. Bullying in elementary school and psychotic experiences at 18 years: Psychol Med ; Adult psychiatric outcomes of bullying and being bullied by peers in childhood and adolescence.
JAMA Psychiatry ; Eur J Dev Psychol ; 9: The prevalence and impact of child maltreatment and other types of victimization in the UK: Findings from a population survey of caregivers, children and young people and young adults. Child Abuse Negl ; Ethnicity and bullying involvement in a national UK youth sample. J Adolesc ; Bullying and victimization of primary school children in England and Germany: Prevalence and school factors.
Br J Psychol ; Bullying as strategic behavior: Relations with desired and acquired dominance in the peer group. J Sch Psychol ; Is adolescent bullying an evolutionary adaptation? The myth of the alpha male: Int J Behav Dev ; Emotion recognition abilities and empathy of victims of bullying. Tippett N, Wolke D. Socioeconomic status and bullying: Am J Public Health ; Links between social informative processing in middle childhood and involvement in bullying.
Wolke D, Skew A. Family factors, bullying victimisation and wellbeing in adolescents. Longit Life Course Stud ; 3: J Youth Adolesc ; Wolke D, Skew AJ. Int J Adolesc Med Health ; Income inequality and school bullying: J Adolesc Health ; Effects of classroom embeddedness and density on the social status of aggressive and victimized children.
Bullying roles in changing contexts: Joint development of bullying and victimization in adolescence: ObO13eeec98 [ PubMed ]. Preschool predictors of childhood anxiety disorders: Peer victimization and social anxiety in adolescents: Peer victimization and social anxiety in adolescence: Peer victimization in childhood and internalizing problems in adolescence: J Abnorm Child Psychol ; Being bullied as an environmentally mediated contributing factor to children's internalizing problems: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med ; Involvement in bullying and depression in a 2-year follow-up in middle adolescence.
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry ; Kumpulainen K, Rasanen E. Children involved in bullying at elementary school age: Peer victimization and depression in early—mid adolescence: Br J Educ Psychol ; Peer victimization and internalizing problems in children: Prospective study of peer victimization in childhood and psychotic symptoms in a nonclinical population at age 12 years.
Arch Gen Psychiatry ; Childhood bullying and the association with psychosis in non-clinical and clinical samples: Gini G, Pozzoli T.
Association between bullying and psychosomatic problems: Wolke D, Lereya ST. Bullying involvement in primary school and common health problems. Without help, the behavior will continue, and potentially worsen, over time. One longitudinal study led by a group of scientists in Norway investigated the long-term psychological effects of adolescents. Results of the study indicated that all groups involved in bullying during adolescence, both bullies and victims, experienced adverse mental health outcomes in adulthood.
While the victims showed a high level of depressive symptoms in adulthood, both groups experienced an increased risk of psychiatric hospitalization due to mental health disorders.
With immediate and proper mental health treatment and support systems in place, victims can stave off some of the potential long-term consequences of bullying. Without intervention, however, kids are at risk for the following: Without proper treatment, bullying behavior is likely to continue into adulthood. Childhood bullying has serious effects on both short and long-term health of children.
Immediate intervention and long-term follow-up can help mediate some of these effects. It is imperative that schools, families, and communities work together to understand bullying and its consequences and find ways to decrease, and hopefully eradicate, bullying both in schools and communities.
Feb 10, · Bullying is the systematic abuse of power and is defined as aggressive behaviour or intentional harm-doing by peers that is carried out repeatedly and involves an imbalance of power.
Feb 20, · But most studies on the effects of bullying focus on the childhood period. "The question for our study is what happens long-term, down the road, after they're no longer being bullied and after they're no longer children," Copeland told LiveScience.
Childhood bullying has serious effects on both short and long-term health of children. Immediate intervention and long-term follow-up can help mediate some of these effects. It is imperative that schools, families, and communities work together to understand bullying and its consequences and find ways to decrease, and hopefully eradicate, bullying both in schools and communities. However, with the Internet and smartphones, bullying has been elevated to an extremely sophisticated type of social harassment. New studies are showing that bullying can have negative effects that last long into adulthood. Loss of Confidence. A single act of bullying .
A study came out in that looked at the the long-term effects of bullying in a way that hasn't been done before. This was the first study on bullying to follow participants from the time they were in school until early adulthood. Bullying Causes Long-Term Emotional Damage. The experience of being bullied can end up causing lasting damage to victims. This is both self-evident, and also supported by an increasing body of research. It is not necessary to be physically harmed in order to suffer lasting harm. Words and gestures are quite enough.