Bullying linked to Suicide Risk

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According to the New York Times it’s not just the victims of bullying that are at risk. Apparently the bullies themselves are at risk for suicidal thoughts. The 13 country review of bullying research conducted by researchers from the Yale School of Medicine found that both parties have a high risk for suicidal thoughts. “The review analyzed 37 studies that looked at bullying and suicide among children and adolescents.” They found that almost all of the studies showed this link.

Bullying tormentors also are at risk. Compared to other kids, a child who bullies may be at two to nine times higher risk for suicide, according to the study. Girl bullies appear to be at highest risk. Some researchers have also found a “dose-response” relationship, showing that those who bully more frequently are at highest risk for suicide.

While the studies showed an association with bullying and suicide, it wasn’t clear whether the behavior actually increases risk for suicide or whether kids already at risk for suicide are more likely to become bullies or their victims. The researchers noted that most of the studies failed to take into account the influence of factors like gender, psychiatric problems and a history of suicide attempts.

According to international studies, bullying is common and affects anywhere from 9 percent to 54 percent of children.

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About Penny R Miller, MS, LPC, CBIS

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