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posted by n1 on Saturday April 19 2014, @08:28AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the psychology-morning dept.

According to Medical Xpress:

The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research by King's College London. The study is the first to look at the effects of bullying beyond early adulthood, and is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bradley13 on Saturday April 19 2014, @09:00AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 19 2014, @09:00AM (#33311) Homepage Journal

    What a surprise. Childhood experiences influence the person as an adult. News at 11:00.

    Seriously, WTF?

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19 2014, @12:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19 2014, @12:16PM (#33320)

      Sure that's a duh outcome. But see how bullying is generally handled: it isn't. School staff needs undeniable facts to do something about it or most of them will just reason its influence away so that they can stay in their comfort zone.

      At least now when someone complains about bullying, they can't reason it away or they risk getting slapped with the hard facts. Thus, an increasing number of schools will actually start doing something about it. Sure, this will be a process that may take a number of decades but at least it's a start.

      Color me overly optimistic, but that's what I think will happen.

      • (Score: 1) by GmanTerry on Sunday April 20 2014, @04:20AM

        by GmanTerry (829) on Sunday April 20 2014, @04:20AM (#33532)

        It is interesting. The jocks in High School picked on geeks like me. I liked school except for the social pecking order. Nothing was ever done to stop the bullying. The only comforting thing is that I'm sure I was more successful after school and earned more money. They hated their jobs, I loved mine.

        --
        Since when is "public safety" the root password to the Constitution?
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Bytram on Saturday April 19 2014, @12:55PM

      by Bytram (4043) on Saturday April 19 2014, @12:55PM (#33324) Journal

      bradley13 wrote:

      What a surprise. Childhood experiences influence the person as an adult. News at 11:00.

      Seriously, WTF?

      The point is that there is now scientific evidence that there are long-term repercussions. It suggests that an active effort to combat bullying is warranted. From TFA:

      Professor Louise Arseneault, senior author, also from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's adds: "We need to move away from any perception that bullying is just an inevitable part of growing-up. Teachers, parents and policy-makers should be aware that what happens in the school playground can have long-term repercussions for children. Programmes to stop bullying are extremely important, but we also need to focus our efforts on early intervention to prevent potential problems persisting into adolescence and adulthood."

      In other words, ignoring bullying is not a viable option; that educators (among others) should no longer tolerate bullying; that intervention is not just a good idea, but is indeed important to the long-term health of the victim.

      I know that anecdote is not the singular of data. Bullying was prevalent in my area growing up. I was often the victim of bullying and sadly must confess that on a few occasions I bullied others. It has taken me considerable assistance, introspection, and effort to overcome the worst of those effects. I know better now and strive to be mindful of the impact my words and actions can have upon others.

      I would posit that the behavior of bullies does not stop in childhood, either. Witness, for example, reports of parents who go ballistic at their child's sporting events. I suspect the inaction of non-participants needs to change as well. Think, too, of the impact of having bullies assume positions of power whether it be in politics or in corporate governance.

      I have no simple solution, but can hope that by calling attention to the long-lasting, adverse effects of such behavior, our collective society might become less tolerant of bullying, more supportive of the bullied. As we age and lose our vim and vigor, all of us may well be in a position where we are unable to defend ourselves from abusive behavior. I fear that little change may come of this, but can hope for the change nonetheless and in my own small way in my little part of the world, do what I can to encourage that change.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by gishzida on Saturday April 19 2014, @09:03AM

    by gishzida (2870) on Saturday April 19 2014, @09:03AM (#33312) Journal

    Alas... some how Science always comes late to the party.... Yes bullying effects you for life. Where the !@#$ have these guys been?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Saturday April 19 2014, @11:08AM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Saturday April 19 2014, @11:08AM (#33316)

      Without sounding rude, could it in studying children for 40 years? Perhaps the point is not the "obvious" nature of the claim, it is in the detailed study of the actions and results.

      By your title you hint that maybe you were bullied, so was I. I can still remember distinct moments when it occurred and how it made me feel. The study talks about effects like depression, thoughts of suicide and I can attest to that. With good, strong parenting They helped pull me back educationally, but throughout my life I've never been good at making relationships and trusting people. At least now I may have an idea why. Whether it helps down the road is another story.

      THe first two posts (including yours) come off rather dismissive, when as smart adults we can better give a cheer and say "Yes, now we see how it truly goes beyond childhood". Perhaps now society can start to take a closer look at ways to stop bullying since now there is more definitive proof of its effects for a person's life and that effect on society. Instead of jus saying "suick it up" or "get a backbone" or "you're just a coward, live with it" we can really help these kids. Naaaa, that would be to logical and cost too much. Better just let them deal with it and hope they don't one day pick up a gun and start to blow people away...oh...that costs more?

      There was this moment in human history when we were given a blueprint on how to live and become better humans. Whether it was from God or just really wise people, it was blue print to allow to humans to make a heaven on earth. Instead, we shit on it, altered it, then bludgeoned people with it to the point where we have now created our own hell instead. Humanity, doomed to fail for it could not understand a simple concept, "love your neighbor as you would love your self".

      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by gishzida on Saturday April 19 2014, @06:44PM

        by gishzida (2870) on Saturday April 19 2014, @06:44PM (#33407) Journal

        If it seems I am "dismissive" it is because of the decades late and millions of live wasted or destroyed and only now Science is able to "prove" what you and I and every other child and adult who was bullied already knows.

        It's a study to rub salt in the wounds that still run deep... to say "Oh gee, some people are still effected after 40 years..." I had it from the time I was four on [that makes it 1958]... And yes it had a great impact on the kind of person I became and even I don't particularly like who I became, the mistakes I made and the people I hurt in response to my own hurts. [gee I bet I never hear the end of that remark!]

        In some ways this is "idiot science" -- Yes the sun came up this morning and it rained like the flood yesterday... oh and yes, it is true that negative experiences can effect one for a life time and no I don't expect this known fact will ever make a difference for any one at all-- especially in the Puritan unconsciousness of the US where all :all badness" is perceived as divine punishment-- because if you were actually good no one would have bullied you... This is the unspoken "moral heart" of Republican / Conservative politics

        No, I'm *NOT* one of those that play the "get some backbone" or "get over it..." card. I know the price to be paid for evil passed along to the next generation... and for some who receive evil they too pass it along.... a never ending tide of sadness and hurt... I try to make a difference now and try to nurture my grandson who at the age of two has some challenges in the form of night terrors and a "control freak" mother. I know for all the nurturing a way at least some of the darkness...

        regards.

        • (Score: 1) by cannonfodder on Sunday April 20 2014, @01:54AM

          by cannonfodder (4092) on Sunday April 20 2014, @01:54AM (#33504)

          I was with you until you dragged politics into this.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 20 2014, @05:12AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 20 2014, @05:12AM (#33538)

            > I was with you until you dragged politics into this.

            You must be new here.

            Oh, wait... we ALL are.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21 2014, @07:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21 2014, @07:57PM (#34128)

          This is the unspoken "moral heart" of Republican / Conservative politics

          You need to meet more republicans than the ones you have met. Most of the ones I know would have twisted the bullies arm off and said "you do that again, you will pay". The 'liberals' I met tried 'have you tried talking to him about how he feels'. Neither way 'fixes' the issue and both make it worse for one of the two parties but not better for both.

          Most school systems let it go on because it is easier than having to deal with it. If you deal with the bully you have to expel someone and hurt your school in some way. If you deal with the bullied you have to expel someone and possibly hurt your school in some way. So they let it go on because it is easier. In some cases where 'popular' kids are involved they encourage it and twist it so the victim gets blamed.

          However, sounds like you want a convenient scapegoat in 'the republicans'. Making you just simply a bigot. Take your crap back to SD. It has become a giant 'liberal' love fest there anyway.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19 2014, @11:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19 2014, @11:03AM (#33315)

    Many people hate bullies. But too few hate the passive onlookers. Or perhaps we should call them the active enablers. You cannot bully an entire school class. For such a shield to exist people would have to choose a side, the right side.

    I've seen a fair bit of bullying in my life and it's these 3rd parties that really make me sick with their inaction. To the point they would have nothing to do with the whole incident, even refusing to tell what happened afterwards.

    I realize it's a quick way to end up in the cross hairs yourself but that's the least risk every upstanding citizen should take. Every single time. Myself I usually actively defended the bullied, which is fair riskier.

    The truly perverted and evil are few and far between. The rest of us are many and we have the responsibility and power to change the situation but only if we so choose.

    LET'S CHOOSE TO DO SO!

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday April 19 2014, @02:43PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday April 19 2014, @02:43PM (#33341) Homepage

      That's a very good point, (note: for those requiring more of an explanation, see Kitty Genovese, [wikipedia.org] the Bystander Effect, [wikipedia.org] and Diffusion of Responsibility [wikipedia.org]) and I think it's the best way to handle the more black-and-white cases like when a jock pushes a shy nerd.

      School staff should very involved in stopping bullying, but the problem with that is, nowadays they start intruding into students' lives outside of school, which I am personally against. As an example, punishing a student in school for posting something about another student on Facebook after school hours. Of course, a lot of that would be simplified if schools disallowed personal gadgets like cell phones and properly locked down their fucking internets. You and I didn't need fucking cell phones in school, and neither does the next generation.

      I have been on both ends of bullying (though at different times and in different contexts, it wasn't like I was bullied and then immediately turned around and displaced it on somebody else) and understand it pretty well. When telling my dad about me being bullied, he said, "If that kid pushes you one more time, you bust him in the chops!" Nowadays parents would be referred to CPS for telling their kids something like that, but the thing about bullies is that people don't often actually challenge them. Befriending people who bullied me was easy because I thought school was drudgery and bullshit even at 9 years old, and already used curse words and told dirty jokes when teachers weren't around. I wouldn't fight my first bully until age 14, and even though the fight was considered a tie, I won a lot of respect for sticking up for myself, especially since the bully was a good foot more tall. It was a great feeling, the bully's friends would come up to me in the hallway and fist-bump me.

      Nowadays in the nanny-state teachers and authorities are more involved, but there are going to be times when mommy and daddy and authority will not be able to solve your problem. At that point, you can stand up for yourself, or you can hang your shoulders and bend over and say, "Okay" as you passively take everything your regretful life shoves you up the ass.

    • (Score: 1) by jmc23 on Saturday April 19 2014, @03:14PM

      by jmc23 (4142) on Saturday April 19 2014, @03:14PM (#33349)

      Diffusion of responsibility.

      This is byproduct of our societies necessity for division of labour.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Dale on Saturday April 19 2014, @11:58AM

    by Dale (539) on Saturday April 19 2014, @11:58AM (#33319)

    It is amazing how much impact it can have. So many of the ways I react to everyday things can be traced back to it. Some of my priorities in work and money are also directly tied to it. It hasn't been 40 years for me, but the results are so ingrained in my personality at this point it will be with me my entire life.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Bytram on Saturday April 19 2014, @01:18PM

    by Bytram (4043) on Saturday April 19 2014, @01:18PM (#33325) Journal

    I suspect that there are many here who have suffered at the hands of bullies. I know that I did and have had a long struggle at overcoming its effects over the years. I sought therapy and found it helpful in reframing how I viewed my past, as well as guiding my thoughts and actions today.

    I'm curious as to how others here have dealt with it. What long-term effects have you experienced? How has it affected how you deal with bullies (and with the bullied) today?

    I wonder, too, how bullying fits into the concept of establishing a
    pecking order [wikipedia.org]. Is there some societal benefit to it?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Angry Jesus on Saturday April 19 2014, @01:43PM

    by Angry Jesus (182) on Saturday April 19 2014, @01:43PM (#33329)

    Some people are more vulnerable to bullying -- some shrug it off, while some don't have the mental and emotional tools to do that, instead they show the pain and that just encourages bullies to redouble their efforts.

    What if bullying is a symptom and not the cause? That the lack of ability to cope with bullies is part of a larger deficit in ability to cope with certain kinds of stresses in life? If that's the case, it means kids who have problems with being bullied should be given more than "it gets better" platitudes, that perhaps they need some sort of interpersonal life skills education. We try to give kids with obvious academic deficiencies more educational attention, why not do the same for kids with other less formal skill deficiencies?

    • (Score: 2) by carguy on Saturday April 19 2014, @03:46PM

      by carguy (568) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 19 2014, @03:46PM (#33367)

      > What if bullying is a symptom and not the cause?

      This sounds like a good research topic to include in future long term (40 year?) studies. If nothing else, I hope that the recent results lead to funding for similar long term science.

      • (Score: 1) by cannonfodder on Sunday April 20 2014, @02:05AM

        by cannonfodder (4092) on Sunday April 20 2014, @02:05AM (#33509)

        Yes, the victims invite bullying by being smaller, having other interests, or just being from a poor family. The should be expelled from school for instigating bulling. #sarcasm

        • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Sunday April 20 2014, @10:41AM

          by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday April 20 2014, @10:41AM (#33567)

          > Yes, the victims invite bullying by being smaller, having other interests, or just being from a poor family.

          You appear to be saying that the only kids who get bullied are those who are smaller with other interests or come from a poor family. You couldn't be further from the truth. [livescience.com]

          • (Score: 1) by cannonfodder on Sunday April 20 2014, @12:34PM

            by cannonfodder (4092) on Sunday April 20 2014, @12:34PM (#33587)

            Yes my list of three is completely comprehensive and takes into account every man woman and child on the planet.

            • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Sunday April 20 2014, @12:47PM

              by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday April 20 2014, @12:47PM (#33589)

              So, what then is your point?

              There are plenty of people who meet one or more of those three characteristics who have not had a problem with bullying. I'm saying that your kind of thinking is part of the problem, by dismissing bullying as something that the victim has no control over you are disempowering them.

    • (Score: 1) by Magic Oddball on Sunday April 20 2014, @05:51AM

      by Magic Oddball (3847) on Sunday April 20 2014, @05:51AM (#33543) Journal

      I can say that your theory doesn't fit my personal experience with being bullied.

      I was a friendly, well-liked kid with strong self-esteem, happy to take a casual leadership role (but not bossy), and quick to step in if I saw bullying start with the younger kids. That was despite problems like having birth defects that required frequent painful procedures & tests, being incontinent until age 9, having an emotionally abusive (prone to flipping between "you're the most wonderful ever" to "there's nothing worth loving in you") mother, and quite a bit more.

      The bullying didn't start until 7th grade (age 12). A few jocks began saying obnoxious things, then when I didn't react, they began tripping/pinching/shoving/etc. me, then the next phase was grabbing my chest/ass, and finally whispering sexual threats. I didn't react outwardly as I've never cared for whiners or crybabies, so that wasn't it. Based on what one of them said in an apology many years later, he had been secretly full of rage at the world due to home problems and I stood out just enough as a convenient target.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23 2014, @02:22AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23 2014, @02:22AM (#34673)

        They probably liked you and were jealous of you (you seemed confident and successful) but at the same time (though very aggressively) acknowledged your worthiness). I would call that harassment not bullying (which doesn't make it good).

        If you are told directly or undirectly you are unworthy by your peers is a different kind of bullying which is about excluding and showing you how unloveable you are. Together with showing or telling you that you have no right to have a safe space is what is truly nerve wracking. And this type of bullying searches for people who are weak already and different. Those who fit not in are a frequent target of this.