According to the BBC bullying in childhood “throws a long shadow” into victims’ adult lives, suggests research indicating long-term negative consequences for health, job prospects and relationships.
The study tracked more than 1,400 people between the ages of nine and 26.
School bullies were also more likely to grow up into adult criminals.
The study, from Warwick University in the UK and Duke University in the US, concludes bullying should not be seen as “a harmless rite of passage”.
The long-term impact of bullying in childhood was examined through the experiences of three different groups – those who had been bullied, those who had carried out the bullying and those who had been both victims of bullying and had also carried out bullying themselves.
The research, published in Psychological Science, suggests the most negative outcomes were for those who had been both victims and perpetrators of bullying, described in the study as “bully-victims”.
Described as “easily provoked, low in self-esteem, poor at understanding social cues, and unpopular with peers”, these children grew into adults six times more likely to have a “serious illness, smoke regularly or develop a psychiatric disorder”.
By their mid-20s, these former “bully-victims” were more likely to be obese, to have left school without qualifications, to have drifted through jobs and less likely to have friends.
All of those involved in bullying, as victims or aggressors, had outcomes that were generally worse than the average for those who had not been involved in bullying.
Those who had been victims of bullying, without becoming bullies themselves, were more likely to have mental health problems, more serious illnesses and had a greater likelihood of being in poverty.
But compared with “bully-victims” they were more likely to have been successful in education and making friends.
How bullying can be neutralised using hypnotherapy for confidence
At the Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy bullying seems to be a common contributing factor to anxiety conditions in particular social phobia. It is not unusual for clients wanting hypnotherapy for public speaking and presentation nerves or “stage fright” to have a history of bullying at school or in their adolescent years. The effect on their self-worth can be very significance feelings of “I’m not good enough” lead to low self-confidence in a large number of clients.
During the hypnotherapy programme we find ways of mitigating, distorting or deleting these old memories that support the behavioural issues. We then help the client to re-establish new patterns of behaviour in situations where their lack of confidence would previously caused them a problem. What clients find is that without the old beliefs and memories in place it is much easier to behave more appropriately in those situations.