Being bullied at young age can have very negative effects later in life

BEING bullied at school can affect you for life, and victims are less likely to succeed and more likely to suffer stress as adults.

The effects of bullying are still felt decades into adulthood, a study suggests.

Former bullies remain more aggressive and hostile in their early thirties, while their victims suffer more stress and are less optimistic about the future.

Lead researcher Dr Karen Matthews, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, sought to focus on the impact on physical health as well as just mental health. Researchers recruited 500 boys enrolled in school in 1987 and 1988, collecting data from them, parents and teachers on bullying behaviours when they were ten to 12 years old.

Now aged 32 on average, the men were asked how often they felt stressed, from always to never. Those who were bullied were more stressed, felt unfairly treated by others and had more financial difficulties, such as paying basic household bills. Meanwhile, men who were bullies remained more aggressive 20 years on.

This was based on the group of men who were bullies agreeing with statements such as ‘if somebody hits me, I hit back’, and ‘I have threatened people I know’.

Though the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, could not link bullying with poor physical health in adults, psychological problems in both groups could cause problems in future.

© Daily Mail