Study: Bullying victims live with consequences for decades

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Victims of bullies suffer the psychological consequences all the way until middle age, with higher levels of depression, anxiety and suicide, new research shows.

The immediate ill effects of bullying have been well documented, with experts increasingly seeing it as a form of child abuse. Influential Finnish studies have made the case that people who were bullied as kids continued to suffer as young adults.

Now a trio of researchers have examined data on 18,000 people who were born in England, Scotland and Wales during a single week in 1958 and then tracked periodically through age 50.

The consequences of bullying were economic as well. Study subjects who had been bullied frequently had fewer years of schooling than their peers, the researchers found. Men in this group were more likely to be unemployed; if they had jobs, their earnings were typically lower.

Overall, 43 percent of the children were bullied occasionally or frequently.