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Childhood bullying anxiety declines over time, study says

From BBC - October 4, 2017

Anxiety and depression caused by childhood bullying decreases over time, showing that children are able to recover, a study suggests.

The University College London study of 11,000 twins found anxiety problems were still present two years on, but had disappeared after five years.

It said minimising the effects of bullying in schools was very important.

Psychiatrists said bullying could have serious effects on young people's mental health for a long time.

The researchers, writing in JAMA Psychiatry, said the results showed the potential for resilience in children exposed to bullying.

Lessening effects

By surveying more than 11,000 twins at the age of 11, 14 and 16, researchers were able to look at the associations between bullying and mental health.

They said bullying was only partly to blame for the mental health problems experienced by bullied children but could cause:

Although, these effects lessened over time, 16-year-olds who had been bullied at the age of 11 were still more likely than those who had not to have paranoid thoughts and a tendency for their thoughts to become derailed, the study said.

Study author Jean-Baptiste Pingault, from the division of psychology and language sciences at UCL, said the findings offered a message of hope.

'In distress'

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