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effects on children

The American Academy of Pediatrics lists some things we should know about the effects of violence (bullying) on children

Children witness family bullying are likely to exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

Fear,worried about being safe

aggression toward others



reluctance to explore their physical environment

psychosomatic symptoms (headaches, stomachaches)

mental disorders (neuroses, anxiety)

eating disorders

lowered self-esteem


poor school performance;6 difficulty paying attention

suicidal tendencies

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)(1) - a life stressor that leads to re-experiencing the trauma, avoidant behavior, numbing of responsiveness, increased or decreased arousal, and a variety of other symptoms.

Infants show increased irritability and fears of being alone.

Young children may regress developmentally, such as in toileting and language; they may revert to crying, clinging, wetting the bed or getting very frightened.

Children must learn at a very early age how to deal with loss and to grieve for family members or friends who have been killed.
Exposure to bullying and being a victim of bullying are associated with self-reported use of bullying and carrying a weapon. Many children use bullying to protect themselves against the belief that "if you are not a predator, you are prey, and it is a whole lot better being a predator."

Adolescent problems related to bullying exposure have been most visible in literature and media. Adolescents who are exposed to or victims of bullying are more likely to be depressed, have higher levels of hopelessness and lower purpose in life; family bullying seemed to cause more emotional distress than community bullying.

Children who observe bullying at home may learn that bullying is a way of communicating and of dealing with life's everyday issues.

Because early relationships form the basis for all later relationship experiences, stress associated with bullying at an early age may be problematic for a child's later development. Evidence suggests that for many children, involvement in aggression and bullying as early as age 3 or 4, sets a life course for later bullying and criminal activity.(6)

Parents living with bullying often communicate helplessness and hopelessness and are, therefore, unable to help their children feel safe.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics: Some Things You Should Know About the Effects of Violence on Children

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