Beyond Teasing: One-Third of Today's Kids Involved in Bullying
WebMD News Archive
The Bottom Line to Bullying continued...
So, what are the long-term results of all this bullying? How do
victims and perpetrators fare as adults?
"Kids who are bullied have lower self esteem and higher
rates of depression as adults," Nansel tells WebMD. "Youth who were
bullies as kids are more likely to have criminal arrests in young
As for the kid who is bullied -- and has also found someone
he can pick on -- he may be at especially high risk because of
his social isolation, anxiety, and aggressive tendencies. These kids are known
for their anxious behavior and their aggression in starting fights -- and for
finding ways to retaliate, she says.
Caring for the Crisis
Bullying is clearly at a crisis point, says Kathy Noll, who
since 1998 has run a web site for the children's book, Taking the Bully By
the Horns, which she co-authored with psychotherapist Jay Carter, MA, PsyD.
"I must hear from at least seven different parents every day. Most often,
their child is being bullied. They come to me for advice."
"We've seen the tragic results of extreme bullying, which
appears to be a factor in some of the recent school shootings across the
country," says David Fassler, MD, an adolescent psychiatrist and member of
a work group on consumer issues for the American Academy of Child and
"It is important for schools and parents to be alert to the
warning signs of bullying and to intervene as early as possible," Fassler
It's also important to understand the psychology of bullies.
Bullies usually have been victims themselves, says Leon Hoffman, MD, a child
psychoanalyst and co-director of The New York Psychoanalytic Society's
Parent-Child Center. "Or they have been put to shame by someone else --
either a teacher who humiliates him in class, or a parent who is trying to
discipline him. Shame is one of the worst feelings to experience. Effective
discipline is within the context of a loving relationship, not in the context
of trying to shame your kid into some kind of obedience. Shaming creates a
terribly vicious cycle. Kids feel compelled to take it out on somebody