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National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month: Effects


The fourth part in our National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month series will focus on the effects of bullying.

A Preface to the Effects

Bullying can be detrimental to anyone, whether they are bullied, are the bully, or are simply a bystander. Bullying is so damaging because it can have a negative impact on mental health. Children who are exposed to bullying can even be led to substance abuse or suicide.

It is also important to note that though there is a correlation between bullying and suicide, bullying alone is rarely the sole cause. Depression, issues at home, and history of trauma can all contribute to the risk of suicide outside of bullying. Bullying can simply degrade an already poor situation if a child is not getting support that they need.

Support should even be provided for children who are exposed to bullying, even if they are not directly involved. Children who bystanders to bullying can suffer from the following effects:

  • Have an increased risk for substance abuse. Such as alcohol and drugs.
  • Have increased risk of negative mental health issues.
  • Have reduced academic activity.

It is important for parents, caregivers, peers, and school staff and faculty to provide support to children who are suffering from bullying—whether they are the bullied or the bully—and be proactive to prevent a bullying situation before it stops.

Effects of Bullying on Children Who are Bullied

According to stopbullying.gov, children who are bullied can suffer from the following:

  • Negative mental health. This can include mental issues such as anxiety and depression. The effects can persist throughout the life of the afflicted child.
  • Issues with physical health.
  • Issues with academics. This can include a decreased level of academic performance or even a child completely ceasing to attend school.
Effects of Bullying on Children Who Bully

According to stopbullying.gov, children who bully their peers are more likely to be at risk for:

  • Abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol.
  • Act out in ways that are destructive to themselves and others. This can include getting into fights and destroying property.
  • Engaging in sexual activity at an earlier age.
  • Exhibit criminal behavior in adulthood.
  • May be abusive to people in their adulthood. This can include children and romantic partners.

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