The long-term effects of teasing or harassment by their peers on pre-adolescent children – specifically, depression and anxiety – are related, in part, to the level of victimization at the end of fourth grade, as well as to how much that harassment increased or decreased between fourth and sixth grade, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the journal Child Development.
The study, by researchers from North Dakota State University and Arizona State University, also found that victimized children become emotionally distressed because they develop more negative self-perceptions and beliefs about their classmates. Additionally, the more negative their beliefs about their schoolmates, the more aggressive and delinquent behavior they exhibit during preadolescence.
The researchers knew that children who are frequently teased or harassed by classmates often show signs of emotional distress, notably depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Moreover, some victimized children begin to act out and become aggressive toward peers. To explore the extent to which victimized childrens emotional problems continue after their harassment ends, the researchers followed 381 children from the spring of their fourth-grade year to the spring of their sixth-grade year.
Andrea Browning | EurekAlert!
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