As if there wasn’t enough proof that bullying damages the lives of children for many years after it actually takes place, another study revealed new information about just what kind of damage bullying can do.
The Family and Youth Services Bureau has released new data that links children who are bullied, or who bully, to mental health issues and substance abuse.
According to a news article on the study, bullying, substance abuse, and mental health issues don’t occur separate from each other but actually co-exist and share a common set of risk factors.
Bullying has been shown to have lasting emotional and behavioral consequences and should no longer be looked at as a “part of growing up.” The presentation of this data encourages parents and educators to pay attention and make changes where possible.
Some of the possible changes include creating a safe school environment, ensuring the presence of positive adult role models, and encouraging close parent-child relationships.
Children who are bullied may suffer from depression and anxiety, and are at risk for substance abuse, according to the study. Many of us may have already known this; some of you may have experienced these effects as a result of being bullied.
No one wants a child to experience these feelings, and that’s why taking action when your child is being severely bullied is vital. If your child has been physically or mentally injured as a result of bullying — and you have exhausted all the ways of stopping it on your own to no avail — contacting an experienced bullying injury attorney could be the next best step.
As for the bullies, they are at risk too. Some risk factors that often make a child into a bully are abuse and neglect at home, being aggressive or easily frustrated, and a lack of parent involvement.
Sometimes, children suffer from bullying without ever telling their parents. It’s often hard to admit to being pushed around at school, or being harassed online. So, the best that anyone can do is be aware of the risk and pay attention to any unusual changes in our children.