Adolescent Bullying Effects Deemed “Public Health Problem”
May 19, 2016

CNN recently reported on the dangerous bullying effects on adolescent minds. As technology integrates itself into our society, bullying has begun to transfer from the schoolyard to the cyber universe. Bullying effects can reach boys and girls. Bullying has the ability to seriously damage an adolescent–physically and mentally. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s report stated that these bullying effects should be deemed a “serious public health problem” because of the damage which can be done.

The bullying effects in adolescents

Bullying take a toll on every child, mentally and physically. The bullying effects include depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and later substance abuse. The researchers in the study reported that bullying can also affect the part of the brain controlling the stress response system. This messes with how children regulate their emotions and cognitive functions.

Bullying doesn’t just affect those being bullied, it affects the bully, too. Both the bully and the victims have a significantly higher chance of thinking about or attempting suicide. Those that bully others have a higher risk of struggling with depression, engaging in risky behaviors, and have a greater chance of low psychological and social futures.

Cyberbullying becoming more common

The article discussed the prevalence of bullying in today’s world. It was found that 18 to 31 percent of kids experience bullying effects; while cyberbullying was only around 7 to 15 percent, but it’s been rising over a number of years. Children who have less friends of the same ethnicity, identify as LGBT, struggle with obesity, or are disabled have a higher risk of being bullied.

Dealing with bullying

While schools are becoming more active in combating bullying, they can only do so much. Parents also need to educate their children about the dangers of bullying. Making sure your child knows you’re there for support can help them to speak up if they do experience bullying. It’s also important to emphasize why they shouldn’t bully others and how to alert an adult if they witness bullying.

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