Friday, 28 December 2012 16:11

The Effect of Bullying on Teens and Adolescents

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While bullying has been an issue since the introduction of formal education, bullying has climbed to new heights with the introduction of cyber communications. While many children used to be able to find refuge in their homes, interactions online through social media and via text message have allowed the bullies to penetrate victims’ sanctuary.

When it comes to cyber bullying the statistics are alarming:
• More than 25% of teens and adolescents have reported being bullied repeatedly, whether through the Internet and social media or via cell phones and text messaging.
• About 10% of young people have been the victim of embarrassing or damaging pictures being shared without their permission.
• Roughly half of teens have been the victims of cyber bullying.

Bullying also happens one-on-one or in a group in a face-to-face setting, typically in schools. Statistics state that the majority of students – about 77%- grades 6 through 10 have experienced mental or verbal abuse at the hands of a bully. A new study suggests that bullying is also increasingly being linked with health problems.

The journal Pediatrics is reporting a high prevalence of children being made fun of and bullied for their health problems. The study found that nearly one-third of children who suffered from food allergies were targets of victimization, sometimes involving the children being pelted with the foods they are allergic to. Additionally the study found that of the 250 families they surveyed, the parents frequently were unaware of this bullying occurring to their children.

An additional study, also published in Pediatrics, that children who suffer from being overweight or obese also experience a significant amount of bullying; in fact, according to the article:

“Nearly two-thirds of 361 overweight teens who attended weight loss camps reported that they’d been bullied for their weight for up to five years -- sometimes even after they reached a healthy weight.”

Studies conducted by psychologists have found the trauma caused by bullying to often be significant, resulting in disorders such as anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, and acts of violence against others. In some cases it has even been reported to cause post-traumatic stress disorder that can last into adulthood.

While schools and communities are working to prepare measures to combat bullying in schools and cyber bullying, charitable organizations have also been established to fight bullying in all of its forms. Organizations like Beat Bullying and Bullies Out are working to combat bullying and provide parents and children with resources to help cope with bullying and prevent it as well.

With awareness, knowledge, and a concerted effort we can combat bullying in all of its forms.

Read 12641 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 January 2013 18:37

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