Bullying Impacting Youth Mental Health

Every day in America more than 300,000 children experience bullying as either victim, perpetrator, or by-stander resulting in nearly 160,000 young people missing school every day (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016). More than one out of every five students report encountering a bullying experience during school time (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016).

There is a strong connection between bullying and suicide-related behaviors, but this association is often influenced by other elements, including depression, violent behavior, and substance abuse (Reed, Nugent, & Cooper, 2015). Students who bully other students are bullied, or witness bullying is more likely to suffer severe mental health issues and report high levels of suicide-related behavior when compared to students who report no involvement in bullying (Center for Disease Control, 2014). An analysis of several studies found that students facing bullying are 2.2 times more likely to have suicide ideation and 2.6 times more likely to attempt suicide than students not facing bullying (Gini & Espelage, 2014). Students who are both bullied and engage in bullying behavior are the highest risk group for unfavorable outcomes (Espelage & Holt, 2013). The misperception by young people that suicide is a natural response to being bullied has the potential to normalize the reaction (Center for Disease Control, 2014).

Bullied students indicate that harassment diminishes their self-worth, harms their relationships with friends and family, causes their academic grades to suffer, and decreases their physical health (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016). Students who experience bullying are twice as likely as non-bullied peers to experience adverse health effects such as headaches and stomachaches (Gina & Pozzoli, 2013). Children who have diminished self-worth and conclude they deserved to be bullied are more likely to experience depression, prolonged victimization, and maladjustment (Perren, Ettakal, & Ladd, 2013). The experts at can build customized bullying prevention programs guaranteed to reduce the prevalence of bullying while boosting students self-esteem.

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