Washington: Does your kid show lack of interest in sport activities that involve running or walking or suffer from low self-esteem?
Such signs are enough to alert you to the possibility of chronic bullying that your kid might be going through, shows new study.
Bullying at any age was associated with worse mental and physical health, increased depressive symptoms and lower self-worth, it added.
“However, the longer the period of time a child is bullied, the more severe and lasting the impact on a child’s health,” claimed the study by scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital in the US.
“Our research shows that long-term bullying has a severe impact on a child’s overall health, and that its negative effects can accumulate and get worse with time,” explained Laura Bogart from Boston Children’s Division of General Pediatrics.
The study is the first to examine the compounding effects of bullying from elementary school to high school.
Bogart and the team collected data for the study by following a group of 4,297 children and adolescents from fifth to tenth grade.
The researchers periodically interviewed them about their mental and physical health and their experience(s) with bullying.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, reinforces the importance of early intervention to stop bullying and to be aware of the need to intervene again – even if the bullying is not ongoing – to address the persistent effects.