An episode of bullying in childhood can have grave impact on the psyche of the victim even late as 50 years after the episode. Bullying can be described as repeated wounding, upsetting and hurtful actions by children of the same age, and the victim is usually unable to defend himself against such actions. Bullying can be either physical or even psychological.
A recent study by King’s College London has thrown up very disturbing results. The study examined the long term effects of bullying. The study revealed certain disturbing facts like the negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are very much discernible even 40 years later. It is for the first time that the effects of childhood bullying on people in their late 40’s has been closely studied.
The study involved research from the British National Child Development Study and contains data on all children born in England, Scotland, and Wales during one week in 1958. The study included 7,771 kids whose parents gave information on their child’s exposure to bullying when they were 7 and 11 years. The children were then followed up until the age of 50.
According to Telegraph, the group of subjects in the study went to school in 1950’s. Among the subjects 28 percent were bullied occasionally and 15 percent were bullied frequently. This is also the estimated bullying figures in the UK today.
The situation has however changed markedly in present times as compared to situations in 1950’s. Earlier, school children could obtain a reprieve from bullying when they went home. Today bullying continues in the form of cyber bullying making the victim feel unsafe in any environment.
The study revealed that even after the elapse of considerable period, the effects of childhood bullying is visible in the middle age also. Individuals who were bullied in childhood are more likely to suffer from poor physical and psychological health and cognitive abilities by age 50. These individuals also suffer from elevated risks of depression, low self esteem and even suicidal tendencies. Such individuals were also found to posses low academic levels and are more liable to be unemployed or paid poorly for their work. Such individuals rarely get into a relationship and report lower quality of life and life satisfaction.