A new study by researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK has suggested that children are adversely affected more in later life by bullying than maltreatment from adults.
"The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, is scheduled to be presented today at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego, CA. For the study, the researchers analyzed data taken from the US-based Great Smoky Mountain Study and the UK-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC study). Associations between childhood maltreatment, bullying and long-term mental health problems have already been established. For the study, the researchers wanted to find out whether the long-term adverse effects of bullying were due to joint exposure to bullying and maltreatment or whether bullying has its own unique consequences. Led by Prof. Dieter Wolke, the researchers examined data from 4,026 participants of the ALSPAC study, looking for reports of maltreatment between the ages of 8 weeks and 8.6 years, bullying at ages 8, 10 and 13, and mental health outcomes at the age of 18. For the 1,273 participants of the Great Smoky Mountain Study, the researchers assessed reports of maltreatment and bullying from 9-16 years and mental health outcomes from 19-25 years of age."