People once routinely brushed off bullying as a normal part of childhood that built character. Now we know with certainty that it actually tears people down in devastating ways.
The longterm risks of bullying, however, don’t have to shape the rest of your life. While the research on protecting yourself from those effects is still limited, there are some important steps you can take to boost your resiliency and improve your coping skills.
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Studies have shown a connection between being bullied and doing worse in school, abusing alcohol, and experiencing mental health problems. New research published this week in Pediatrics, for example, showed that more frequent bullying experiences in the fifth grade were associated with symptoms of depression in the seventh grade, which was related to a higher chance of using alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes in the 10th grade. A separate Psychological Science study indicated that both bullies and victims were at higher risk for feeling more stress and had fewer skills for managing stress as adults. Read more…
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