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Effects of Bullying

Bullying Statistics

  • One out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015)
  • 64% of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36% reported the bullying. (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson, 2010)
  • More than half of bullying situations (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied. (Hawkins, Pepler, and Craig, 2001)
  • School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25%. (McCallion and Feder, 2013)
  • The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%). (Davis and Nixon, 2010)

Effects of Bullying

Both individuals who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems:

  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression. (Center for Disease Control, 2015)
  • Students who engage in bullying behavior are at increased risk for academic problems, substance use, and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood. (Center for Disease Control, 2015)
  • Students who are both targets of bullying and engage in bullying behavior are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems than students who only bully or are only bullied. (Center for Disease Control, 2015)
  • Students who experience bullying are twice as likely as non-bullied peers to experience negative health effects such as headaches and stomachaches. (Gini and Pozzoli, 2013)

Children that are bullied: Kids who are bullied may experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. 

Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:

  • Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
  • Health complaints
  • Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school

(http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/effects/index.html)


Children that bully others: Children who bully often do not learn how to express themselves maturely, and as a result they develop higher rates of aggression, violence, and antisocial behavior. Their lack of behavioral skills are detrimental years later, as bullies often perform poorly in school, and have higher rates of smoking, depression, violence, and drunk driving. Kids who bully are more likely to:

  • Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
  • Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school
  • Engage in early sexual activity
  • Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults
  • Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults

(http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/effects/index.html)

 

Bystanders: Kids who witness bullying are more likely to:

  • Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
  • Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  • Miss or skip school

(http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/effects/index.html)

 

Warning Signs

Signs a child is being bullied: Look for changes in the child. However, not all children that experience bullying exhibit signs.

Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.

 

Signs a child is bullying others: Kids may be bullying others if they:  

  • Get into physical or verbal fights
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are increasingly aggressive
  • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity

(http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs/index.html#bullying)