Bullying in childhood “throws a long shadow” into victims’ adult lives, suggests research indicating long-term negative consequences for health, job prospects and relationships.
The study tracked more than 1,400 people between the ages of nine and 26. School bullies were also more likely to grow up into adult criminals.
The study, from Warwick University in the UK and Duke University in the US, concludes bullying should not be seen as “a harmless rite of passage”.
The long-term impact of bullying in childhood was examined through the experiences of three different groups – those who had been bullied, those who had carried out the bullying and those who had been both victims of bullying and had also carried out bullying themselves.
The research, published in Psychological Science, suggests the most negative outcomes were for those who had been both victims and perpetrators of bullying, described in the study as “bully-victims”.
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