Bullied girls can suffer health problems years after they have left school, a study shows
Teenagers who are bullied by their peer group at school could be more likely to develop conditions like diabetes and heart disease in middle age, according to a new study.
The study, by Swedish researchers, also found that they were more likely to be obese by their early 40s.
Girls are also more susceptible to bullying during their teens than boys according to the study, which followed 900 students in north Sweden from the ages of 16-43.
The effects of bullying on middle-aged health were stronger in women than in men.
The researchers also noted that it was not only those at ‘the extreme end of the spectrum’, such as ‘those exposed to bullying or victimisation’ that had poorer health later in life.
Writing in the journal PLoS, they say: ‘Our results support the notion that aspects of peer relationships are not only related to future health in the extreme end of the spectrum, for example restricted to those exposed to bullying or peer victimization, but that one’s difficulties with peers are represented by a health gradient in adulthood.’
The study also found the link between bullying during adolescence and poor health held true even after the health of the participants age 16 and their parents’ social position, was taken into account.