Bullying linked to long-term problems

Oct. 31, 2012 at 10:34 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Childhood bullying can lead to long-term health consequences and may be linked to mental health and behavioral problems, U.S. researchers say.

Study co-authors Leana Bouffard, director of the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University, and doctoral student Maria Koeppel used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a long-term study that tracks a sample of U.S. residents born from 1980 to 1984.

Nineteen percent of those surveyed said they had been a victim of repeated bullying.

The study found bullying victims had more negative perceptions of their general health and mental health and higher rates of emotional/mental or behavioral problems that interfered with school or work.

They were also more likely to have an eating disorder, smoke, consume alcohol, experience subsequent violent victimization, or be homeless.

"While these are adverse consequences themselves, they may also serve as intermediate mechanism for even more long-term health issues, such as cancer, alcoholism, depression and other serious problems," said Koeppel, co-author of the study.

The full report is at http://www.crimevictimsinstitute.org/publications/?mode=view&item=32.

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