Navigation Links
Social form of bullying linked to depression, anxiety in adults
Date:4/22/2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. Spreading rumors and gossiping may not cause bruises or black eyes, but the psychological consequences of this social type of bullying could linger into early adulthood, a new University of Florida study shows.

In a study of 210 college students, UF researchers discovered a link between what psychologists call relational victimization in adolescence and depression and anxiety in early adulthood, according to findings published online this month in the journal Psychology in the Schools. Rather than threatening a child with physical violence, these bullies target a childs social status and relationships by shunning them, excluding them from social activities or spreading rumors, said Allison Dempsey, a doctoral student in the UF College of Education and the studys lead author.

Even though people are outside of high school, the memories of these experiences continue to be associated with depression and social anxiety, said Dempsey, who graduated from Columbine High School in Colorado one year before the 1999 school shooting there and now studies school prevention programs. It was interesting to see these relationships still continue to exist even though they are in early adulthood now and in a completely different setting.

Im hoping this study will help shed light on the fact that this is a real problem and continues to be a real problem after students leave school.

To uncover the relationships between social bullying and loneliness, depression and anxiety, researchers surveyed college undergraduates between the ages of 18 and 25 and asked them to recall their experiences from high school. They were also looking to see if having friends mitigated some of the effects of bullying and if there was any relationship between gender and the severity of psychological symptoms, said Eric Storch, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UF College of Medicine and a co-author of the study.

About 20 years ago people thought of bullying as very physical, Storch said. As a result people thought guys did the bullying, and that it wasnt really a big experience for girls. The problem is that isnt actually true. There are different types of aggression.

Boys do tend to be more physical, but both sexes engage in relational victimization. We wanted to see if gender affected strength of the relationship between depressive symptoms and victimization.

But researchers found no gender difference in the link between this type of bullying and depression. They also discovered that having friends or other positive social relationships didnt lessen rates of depression and anxiety in adulthood, a finding that surprised them, Dempsey said.

For some children, having friends and positive support can help make them more resilient to the slings and arrows from bullies, Storch said. But other children take the words and abuse more to heart and begin to believe whats being said about them.

Those types of negative thoughts are actually believed to be at the core of things like depression and anxiety, Storch said. Behaviorally what starts happening is you avoid interactions and situations that could be quite positive for you.

Currently, there are few prevention or intervention programs that focus specifically on relational victimization, in part because its tougher to pinpoint and stop, Dempsey said.

If a child tries to punch someone or kick someone, theres evidence of that happening, Dempsey said. Theres a definite aggressor and a definite victim. When it comes to spreading rumors and gossiping, thats a lot more difficult to prove whos doing it. And its harder to provide consequences.

Dempsey said she hopes this study and others will help other researchers and psychologists design programs that can help stop this form of bullying in schools.

I think many people have the belief that victimization is a normal rite of passage in childhood, Storch said. While it certainly does happen to most kids, its not acceptable. And while I think it would be difficult to completely curtail it, by reducing it youre going to help someone a tremendous amount to not have to go to school and be plagued by this environment of being tortured day in and day out.

This isnt a normative experience and we need to do something about it and recognize that not doing something could affect children who are really rising stars.

Wendy Troop-Gordon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at North Dakota State University, said understanding how past relational bullying affects people in adulthood is an important step forward for research in this field.

Turning 18 is not a magical age when you leave all of these experiences behind, said Troop-Gordon, who is not affiliated with the study. People do seem to carry these experiences with them.


'/>"/>

Contact: April Frawley Birdwell
afrawley@ufl.edu
352-273-5817
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Social Workers Honor William C. Bell with the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award
2. Rik Deitsch, CEO of Nutra Pharma Creates Personal Wall on WallSt.nets Financial Social Community, my.wallst.net
3. Older Americans are more socially engaged than many people may think
4. Joint Center Sees Social Determinants of Health as Key to Reducing Disparities at Annual Fund-raising Gala
5. 15 Million Americans Suffer From Social Anxiety Disorder
6. Animal Study Links Social Standing With Drug Use Risk
7. 2008 Social Security Report Offers Dire Warning
8. Social Problems in Youth Contribute to Anxiety, Depression
9. Pelosi Statement on Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports
10. Blunt: Trustees Report is a Reminder of Medicare and Social Security Crisis
11. Media Alert: Statement on the Report of the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Saad B. Chaudhary, MD is committed to providing the highest quality ... problems, I focus on preventative care with all my patients to alleviate possible future issues. ... feel free to contact my office and my trained staff will assist you in any ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... Emergency Physician and Distinguished Professor of Emergency Medicine Bentley Bobrow will be featured ... publish in summer 2017. , Dr. Bobrow, MD, FACEP, FAHA, is an Emergency ... He also serves as Medical Director for the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... products, is introducing Flexadin UCII, part of the EQUISTRO line, at this week’s ... health in horses at the immunologic level. , The scientifically-developed Flexadin UCII supports ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... ... Emmanuel College is introducing enhancements to its RN-to-BSN Degree ... fall of 2017, Emmanuel’s program will allow registered nurses (RN)s to earn a Bachelor ... as little as $14,528. These changes will enable nurses to complete their degree in ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... , ... Michael Vick announced his retirement earlier this year from the NFL ... one pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, to the Atlanta Falcons, made four Pro ... career rushing yards by a quarterback (6,109) and the most rushing yards by a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... -- New research provides evidence that an old drug may provide ... released today that will be presented at the American ... Boston , April 22 to 28, 2017. ... the oral drug levodopa has long been considered the gold ... disease progresses, the effects of the medication can partially wear ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017  SARES•REGIS Group leased the ... developing at Conejo Spectrum Business Park in ... Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company developing ... diseases that have been underserved by scientific innovation, ... for cancer, autoimmune and infectious disease. ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Cogentix Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNT), a global medical ... Gynecology markets with innovative and proprietary products, will release ... 2017 after the market close on Tuesday, May 2, ... conference call and webcast to discuss its financial results ... 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (3:30 p.m. Central Time). ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: