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Bullied children battle depression as adults, study finds

Bullied children battle depression as adults, study finds

6/15/2015

Youngsters who suffer bullying during their teenage years are more likely to be depressed as adults, according to new research.

A team of scientists, led by Lucy Bowes at the University of Oxford, carried out one of the largest studies on the association between bullying by peers in their teenage years and depression in early adulthood.

The study featured more than 2,500 participants, and it found that frequently bullied teenagers had around a twofold increase in their odds of suffering depression as adults compared with those who did not experience bullying as teenagers.

Of youngsters who reported frequent bullying at more than once a week at the age of 13, 14.8 percent dealt with depression at age 18.

And of the youngsters who experienced some bullying (1-3 times) at the age of 13, 7.1 percent were depressed at age 18.

Around 10 percent of frequently bullied teenagers experienced depression for more than two years, compared with 4 percent from the non-bullied group.

The most common type of bullying was name calling, as 36 percent of the participants experienced this.

Bullying in sports can be overlooked as kids just being kids, or inappropriately categorized as part of the game strategy, but it’s a serious issue that should never be taken lightly.

The National Alliance for Youth Sports offers a free Bullying Prevention Training program that is available online.

Bullying can take on a variety of forms in sports. Here are some examples to watch out for:

  • The child doing the bullying may target a teammate they are jealous of because their teammate gets praise and attention from the coach or they perceive them to be a better player.
  • A child may bully a team member that doesn’t do well in the sport because they see them as an easy target to exert power over.
  • Intimidating, coercing or hazing new team members to prove they belong on the team.
  • Singling out a teammate by turning other team members against them by using gossip or encouraging the other team members to gang up on the child.
  • Intimidating the most promising players in order to eliminate the competition for the best positions and the limelight.
Bullying Depression Competition Intimidation Teammate

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