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The Effects of Bullying Can Last a Lifetime



From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.

A popular expression goes, "What does not kill us makes us stronger." But when it comes to being bullied, that may not be the case. Increasing evidence suggests that the effects of being bullied do not end with childhood. The psychological and physical damage, like anxiety and depression, can continue into adulthood.

A recent Duke University report supports other research that shows bullying can have permanent effects. The report is based on research that began in 1993. The Great Mountains study observed 1,420 children from western North Carolina for years. The scientists followed the people as they went from childhood into young adulthood. The research showed that those who were bullied were at higher risk of long-term mental health problems. It found that adults who were bullied as children had higher levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP.

CRP is a sign of nervous tension. Higher levels of cRP are linked to health problems. The study also found something completely new about bullying. It seems that bullies are healthier than those bullied in terms of CRP levels. The study found the lowest levels of CRP in people who had never been bullied, but had bullied others. Experts on bullying worry about that message. Catherine Bradshaw is deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence in Maryland. She says that a possible health gain should not be understood as permission to bully. Professor William Copeland led the study. He says a higher social standing for bullies might explain their lower CRP levels.

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