Does childhood bullying influence your mental heath later in life?

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It is commonly agreed that being bullied as a child “can” effect one’s emotional health as an adult; just how much of an effect though does bullying have on 13 to 24-year-olds? According to findings from a Finnish study published in the September 7 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, female victims of bullying were found to be 70% more likely to have received psychiatric medications or to have been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment between the ages of 13 and 24; these numbers remained consistent even after accounting for psychiatric diagnosis at age 8. Boys were 60% more likely to  seek psychiatric care if they were either bulled or a bully themselves, and those that were both bullies and bullied were almost four times as likely. However, these numbers for males became statistically insignificant after adjustment for psychopathology scores at the age of 8. According to Andre Sourander, MD, PhD, of Turku University Hospital, and colleagues, “Bullying behavior should be considered a marker of the risk of a later psychiatric disorder, which if not treated promptly, might develop into a serious problem for those involved and for society as a whole… among girls, frequent childhood victimization may predict later psychiatric problems regardless of psychiatric problems at baseline.” Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses these findings more.

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