Long Term Impact of Bullying
There is a limited number of longitudinal studies that have explored the predicive association between bullying and other forms of victimization in chilhood and adolescence with psychosocial outcome in adulthood.
People who were bullied in childhood have increased levels of psychological distress at ages 23 and 501. Adults who were frequently bullied as children suffer of higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders and suicidality than their no victimized peers1.
Violence and/or bullying at 15 years of age can predict negative work participation outcomes eight years later, independent of high school completion and other relevant factors2.
Victims of childhood bullying, including those that bullied others (bully-victims), were found to at increased risk of poor health, wealth, and social-relationship outcomes in adulthood even after controlling for family hardship and childhood psychiatric disorders .Conversely pure bullies were not at increased risk of poor outcomes in adulthood once other family and childhood risk factors were taken into consideration3. After controlling for childhood psychiatric problems or family hardships, it was found found that victims continued to have a higher prevalence of agoraphobia, generalized anxiety while bullies/victims were at increased risk of young adult depression, panic disorder, agoraphobia (females only) and suicidality (males only). Bullies were at risk for antisocial personality disorder4.
Adolescents who were bullied at 14 years were found to be at greater risk of higher BMI and obesity by young adulthood5.
Childhood bullying has unique associations with risk of later violence and substance use among young adults6.
From the Finnish Nationwide 1981 Birth Cohort Study we have learned that boys who frequently bully others, and have high level of psychiatric symptoms, are at risk for later criminality7. Among females, childhood victimization predicts later psychiatric problems irrespective of psychiatric problems at baseline8. Being a bully-victim is significantly associated with becoming a young father9. There is a predictive association between being a bully in childhood and becoming a mother in adolescence10.
Frequent bullying and victimization, among boys, has been found to be , associated with later suicide attempts and completed suicides but not after controlling for conduct and depression symptoms. Conversely, frequent victimization among girls is associated with later suicide attempts and completed suicides, even after controlling for conduct and depression symptoms11.
1. Takizawa R, Maughan B, Arseneault L. Adult health outcomes of childhood bullying victimization: evidence from a five-decade longitudinal british birth cohort. Am J Psychiatry. 2014 Jul 1;171(7):777-84. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=1863836
2. Strøm IF, Thoresen S, Wentzel-Larsen T, Hjemdal OK, Lien L, Dyb G. Exposure to life adversity in high school and later work participation: a longitudinal population-based study. J Adolesc. 2013 Dec;36(6):1143-51. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24215961
3. Wolke D, Copeland WE, Angold A, Costello EJ. Impact of bullying in childhood on adult health, wealth, crime, and social outcomes. Psychol Sci. 2013 Oct;24(10):1958-70. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23959952
4. Copeland WE, Wolke D, Angold A, Costello EJ. Adult psychiatric outcomes of bullying and being bullied by peers in childhood and adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;70(4):419-26 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426798
5. Mamun AA, O'Callaghan MJ, Williams GM, Najman JM. Adolescents bullying and young adults body mass index and obesity: a longitudinal study. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Aug;37(8):1140-6
6. Kim MJ, Catalano RF, Haggerty KP, Abbott RD. Bullying at elementary school and problem behaviour in young adulthood: a study of bullying, violence and substance use from age 11 to age 21. Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):136-44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780605/
7. Sourander A, Jensen P, Rönning JA, Elonheimo H, Niemelä S, Helenius H, Kumpulainen K, Piha J, Tamminen T, Moilanen I, Almqvist F. Childhood bullies and victims and their risk of criminality in late adolescence: the Finnish From a Boy to a Man study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Jun;161(6):546-52. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17548758
8. Sourander A, Ronning J, Brunstein-Klomek A, Gyllenberg D, Kumpulainen K, Niemelä S, Helenius H, Sillanmäki L, Ristkari T, Tamminen T, Moilanen I, Piha J, Almqvist F. Childhood bullying behavior and later psychiatric hospital and psychopharmacologic treatment: findings from the Finnish 1981 birth cohort study. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;66(9):1005-12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19736357
9. Lehti V, Klomek AB, Tamminen T, Moilanen I, Kumpulainen K, Piha J, Almqvist F, Sourander A. Childhood bullying and becoming a young father in a national cohort of Finnish boys. Scand J Psychol. 2012 Dec;53(6):461-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22924804
10. Lehti V, Sourander A, Klomek A, Niemelä S, Sillanmäki L, Piha J, Kumpulainen K, Tamminen T, Moilanen I, Almqvist F. Childhood bullying as a predictor for becoming a teenage mother in Finland. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Jan;20(1):49-55. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21136277
11. Klomek AB, Sourander A, Niemelä S, Kumpulainen K, Piha J, Tamminen T, Almqvist F, Gould MS. Childhood bullying behaviors as a risk for suicide attempts and completed suicides: a population-based birth cohort study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2009 Mar;48(3):254-61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19169159