Is there a relationship between bullying and self-harm?
The British Medical Journal has published the findings on a study about the relationship between bullying and self-harm behaviors in children.
According to Medical News Today, “The study, conducted by researchers at King’s College in London, involved over 1000 sets of twins, ages 5, 7, 10 and 12 who were born in Wales and England between 1994 and 1995. The data showing the results of the self harm tests collected on 2141 kids, 6 months before their 12th birthday, showed that 237 of them had been bullied, and 18 (8%) hurt themselves. Amongst the 1904 children who were not bullied, 44 (2%) inflicted self-harm. ” The study notice a slightly higher incidence of self-harming among girls than boys.
In Great Britain 25% of children experience bullying. Bullying includes physical abuse, verbal abuse, social aggression as well as shunning and social exclusion.
Bullying is never pleasant but it is particularly devastating to young children. Bullying creates danger and betrayal for children that is a shock to them and which is hard for them to understand and handle. Children often assume that if something bad happens to them it is because there is something wrong with them.
Unfortunately, macho cultural models often glorify bullying behavior. We are quite disingenuous about the consequences about our violent cultural practices.
Children who have been bullied when they are young will demonstrate their pain in their behavior, by hitting their heads against a wall, pulling out their hair, cutting and biting themselves or even strangling themselves. It is also likely that they will become withdrawn and depending on the behavior of the adults around them, develop serious trust issues that they may not recover from.
Bullying causes a child to feel defective, that can last an entire lifetime. Bullying at a young age destroys a child’s feeling of being welcome and valued in the world. It is an extremely vicious attack on a young life and a practice that needs to be stopped.