Physical and Emotional Impact of Schoolyard Bullies

“You big bully!” We all remember it from childhood.

Ranging from teasing and name-calling to physical attacks, bullying happens in nearly every school around the globe.

The August 1999 edition of the British Medical Journal published two studies about the health effects of bullying that came from nearly a world apart — Finland and Australia. Defining bullying as “the intentional abuse of power by one or more children to inflict pain or cause distress to another child on repeated occasions,” the journal reported that abdominal pain, headaches, bedwetting, sleep problems, anxiety, insecurity, and depression were all much more common both in children who considered themselves bullied and in those who considered themselves bullies. The rates were highest in those kids who felt that they were bullied and in turn bullied others.

When you hear of ongoing symptoms like these, it pays to find out what’s happening in the schoolyard.

Published on: September 28, 1999
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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