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Effects of Bullying

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Effects of Bullying

A sick teen in the nurse's officeBullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern.

Kids Who are Bullied

Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:

Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
Health complaints
Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
A very small number of bullied children might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.

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Kids Who Bully Others

Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to:

Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school
Engage in early sexual activity
Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults
Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults
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Bystanders

Kids who witness bullying are more likely to:

Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
Miss or skip school
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The Relationship between Bullying and Suicide

Media reports often link bullying with suicide. However,…...

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