NEW YORK– Bullying can be hazardous to your health.
From the start of one’s school career, it is safe to say that you would have come into contact with a bullying situation. In most people’s perspectives, it’s just a one time occurrence or that thing that happened a couple of times and would blow over. In a journal titled, “Long-Term Effects of Bullying,” the authors define bullying as “Bullying is the systematic abuse of power and is defined as aggressive behavior or intentional harm-doing by peers that is carried out repeatedly and involves an imbalance of power.” (Wolke and Lereya, 1) Even though people within the school community are familiar and aware of bullying, it still does not help the fact that the effects are never discussed.
Childhood and adolescents (6-17 years) who were exposed to bullying, presented a variety of negative effects. “Children who were victims of bullying have been consistently found to be at higher risk for common somatic problems such as colds, or psychosomatic problems such as headaches, stomach aches or sleeping problems, and are more likely to take up smoking.” (Wolke and Lereya, 3) Additional symptoms are self harm, thinking about suicide, low academic achievement, dating issues, and borderline personality symptoms. These are results that we are familiar with and have heard before. However, the impact of bullying on 18-50 year olds is overlooked.
At this studied age range, “victims were at increased risk for displaying psychotic experiences at age 18 and having suicidal ideation, attempts and completed suicides. Moreover, victimized children were found to have lower educational qualifications, be worse at financial management and to earn less than their peers even at age 50.” (Wolke and Lereya, 4) The journal’s final results consisted of the fact that the effects of bullying go above and beyond adolescence and should be taken more seriously. “Those who were bullied more frequently, more severely (ie, directly and indirectly) or more chronically (ie, over a longer period of time) have worse outcomes. Third even those who stopped being bullied during school age showed some lingering effects on their health, self-worth and quality of life years later compared to those never bullied…” (Wolke and Lereya, 5) Ultimately, the journal declares that bullying is not only a problem for younger generations and it should receive proper recognition by health practitioners.
In another journal, “Bullying Victims: The Effects Last Into College,” researchers took it upon themselves to delve deeper into the rabbit hole that is bullying and see if the effects last after grade school. The study looked at 269 undergraduate students to see if they had histories of bullying. Throughout the study, their findings were “A total of 100 (37.2 %) participants reported they had been bullied in high school or junior high school by answering ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ to that statement. They were assigned to the Bullied group. The Non-Bullied group consisted of 160 (59.5 %) participants who answered ‘strongly disagree’ or ‘disagree.’ “ (Adams and Lawrence, 3)
The study’s findings realized that the data did not support previous research which states that bullying decreases from grade school to ninth grade. Also, the data was very suggestive, stating that most of bullying occurs in rural areas, however, the study only took students from rural areas. Upon completion of the study, researchers concluded that “Youths victimized by their peers were at an increased risk, in turn, of victimizing others as they move from one environment to another. The Center for Disease Control (2011) reported bullying continues to occur at all levels within the educational environment.” (Adams and Lawrence, 5) Hopefully all schools will consider these results and realize that their students still need better guidance against this awful offense.
The final article, “Bullies Ruined Your Chances of Becoming a Millionaire,” from the New York Post sheds light on what life is like for victims of bullying in the job world. Lead researcher Gary Ladd said, “Bullied students’ poorer achievement in school is likely due to the fact that bullied kids are absent more (they may avoid school when they can to avoid the bullying) and enjoy school less than kids who aren’t bullied.” (Hill, 1) The more school students miss, it may affect them when it’s time to apply for colleges. In addition, “Lifetime earnings for a person with a bachelor’s degree over a 40-year career total an average of $2.268 million, while earnings for someone with just a high school diploma total just $1.301 million…” (Hill, 2) The impact on those bullied suggests it’s time to end the abuse.
Some people may believe my argument to be flawed and that bullying is just a school age phase. Research has found that bullying can hinder your future. It has been found that those bullied have not furthered their education after grade school. In addition, it has been determined that victims of bullying have fallen short in acquiring their piece of the American dream. Parents and students should realize that bullying can affect students’ futures and be hazardous to their economic health.
Wolke, Dieter, and Suzet Tanya Lereya. “Long-Term Effects of Bullying.” Archives of Disease in Childhood 100.9 (2015): 879–885. PMC. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.
Adams, Frank D. and Gloria J. Lawrence. “Bullying Victims: The Effects Last into College.” American Secondary Education, vol. 40, no. 1, 01 Sept. 2011, pp. 4-13.
Hill, Catey. “Bullies Ruined Your Chances of Becoming a Millionaire.” The New York Post. February 1, 2017. Web.