Some Children Are More Likely To Suffer Depression Long After Being Bullied

Being bullied at any age is no walk in the park, but for kids, it can have a long-lasting impact on their mental health. According to a new study by the University of Bristol, kids that are subjected to torment are more likely to develop ongoing depression. Researchers looked at different factors from over 3,325 teenagers in the nineties. Each individual's genetic make-up, as well as environmental factors, were taken into consideration. By using mood and feelings questionnaires conducted at nine points in time, the university was able to find a strong connection between childhood bullying and depression.

Kids who struggled with their mental health in adulthood are also more likely to have a mother who suffered from post-natal depression, they discovered. Children whose parents didn't suffer from issues of their own display much lower symptoms as they age. PhD student Alex Kwong praised the Children of the 90s study for enabling researchers to look at a body of data over a long period of time. Kwong is quick to point out that nothing is set in stone - if a child has a genetic liability to depression, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will go on to have it. Other important factors have to be considered too, such as bullying and the environment.

Dr. Rebecca Pearson has strong hopes for the future on the back of the new knowledge. The study indicates certain groups that should be focused on early, enabling professionals to offer support and guidance to those who need it most. The research will also enable doctors and those working with children to get a better idea of who is at risk for long-term mental health problems.

According to Ditch the Label, 51% of children surveyed in the UK were victims of bullying at least once a month in 2018. 10% reported daily incidents, while a further 13% said it happened several times a week. Pacer.org reports that 1 in 4 children in the US is subjected to torment by their peers, with 15% of these incidents occurring via online media or text. With the rise of social channels, it's harder than ever to protect adolescents in the 21st century.

Related: Student With Autism Given 'Most Annoying' Award, Parents Claim Public Bullying

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