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Study: Bullied youths have more mental health issues than peers

Meanwhile, those who bullied others as kids were more likely to commit violent crimes later in life, the research found.

The study examined face-to-face as well as online bullying, with victims who were bullied in person more commonly suffering from adverse mental health symptoms. Image: Katriina Laine / Yle

Being bullied is linked to perceived mental health problems, according to a new doctoral study under review at the University of Turku.

In a dissertation on child psychology, Elina Tiiri explored the possible links between being bullied and mental health. It also found that kids who bullied other children were more likely to commit violent crimes in adulthood.

The study examined face-to-face as well as online bullying, with victims who were bullied in person more commonly suffering from adverse mental health symptoms. Additionally, the research found that youths who were bullied had more emotional and behavioural issues than their un-bullied counterparts.

Links between being bullied and increased mental health issues were found among youths in Finland as well as abroad, with the study examining data on young people from 13 countries in Asia and Europe.

The research also found that children who bullied others were more likely to commit violent crimes as adults. Both men and women who had bullied others when they were around eight or nine years old had a higher probability than their non-bullying peers of committing a violent crime between the ages of 15-31.

A similar link was not seen among adults who were bullied as kids.

"The findings suggest that there are adverse effects of bullying victimisation and perpetration. The association between bullying victimisation and mental health symptoms emphasises the importance of counteracting bullying," Tiiri noted in the doctoral study (siirryt toiseen palveluun)'s summary.

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