Bullied Children More Likely To Develop Psychotic Symptoms

A new study by University of Warwick shows that children who are bullied at school are two times more likely to develop psychotic symptoms than kids who are not bullied. If kids experience sustained bullying for a number of years, their risk of developing psychotic symptoms increase four fold.

This study indicates the negative affects of bullying on children. Unlike teasing and playful fighting, bullying is intended to hurt. Targeted children do not know how to cope with this and lack of parents’ and friends’ help makes this problem severe.

The Study:

The team of researchers led by Professor Dieter Wolke, Professor of Developmental Psychology observed about 6, 437 children from their birth to about 13 years of age. Children participated in annual psychological tests and physical tests, face-to-face interviews. The parents were asked to fill the questionnaires regarding their kid’s development.

When the children reached 13 years, they were interviewed regarding the psychotic symptoms for the past 6 months. Psychotic symptoms include delusions, hallucination and bizarre thought patterns. The researchers found out that bullying had serious affects on the kids, changing their perception of the world, through hallucinations and delusions.

This study shows that when kids are bullied, they are at high risk of developing psychotic symptoms in early adolescence. This may in turn increase their risk of developing psychosis in adulthood.

Due to the serious impact of bullying, parents should take steps to ensure their kids are protected. Counseling the kids after school, giving them an opportunity to share their concerns can help in preventing bullying.

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