A new study, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry and reported in USA Today, shows harmful effects can extend decades after the initial bullying. Researchers found those bullied in childhood had lower levels of education, greater physical and cognitive health problems, and poor social functioning throughout their lives, compared with those who were not bullied.
The National Child Development Study (NCDS) is a continuing study that follows the lives of about 17,000 people born in Great Britain in a certain week in 1958. The researchers looked at data from 7,771 participants whose parents reported bullying exposure at ages 7 and 11, and who participated in follow-up assessments between the ages of 23 and 50 years of age, assessing physical, cognitive and mental health.
Childhood bullying was associated with a lack of social relationships, economic hardship and poor perceived quality of life at age 50. Participants who were bullied in childhood had increased levels of depression, anxiety disorders and suicide than their non-victimized peers.