As if people needed further proof that an individual’s attitude directly affects their physical and emotional health: a new study published by the Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health reveals that both bullies and their targets face higher potential for various health problems, but that it is the bullies who are at an increased risk for emotional and physical problems.

A survey of approximately 9,600 teenagers nationwide in grades six through ten stated that about 40% of teens surveyed had either been the victim of bullying or had been a bully themselves – and many had been both the victim AND the bully.

This group of students were at an elevated risk for all types of physical injury, including self-inflicted injuries, and that they were also at risk for depression and addictions. Those who bullied or had been bullied also faced a higher risk of becoming physically abusive. Additionally, these teens were more likely to drop out of school and to carry a weapon.

Dr. Jorge Srabstein, a researcher at the Children’s National Medical Center in D.C., pointed out that both the victim and the bully will suffer in a bullying situation.

“The bullies are also victims of their own emotional problems,” Srabstein stated.

The study found that bullies were far more likely to drink alcohol, use drugs, and play hooky. This may not come as a surprise, but Dr. Srabstein claims that it is very important to consider the emotional turmoil that a bully may be going through in addition to the “obvious” behaviors that the individual may be participating in.

Study researchers say that pediatric physicians should further educate themselves about the emotional and physical health issues that result from a bullying situation, and that “prevention of this very serious public health issue” should be a priority.

Kidshealth.org, a popular Internet site that aims to educate both kids and their parents, states that three-quarters of all adolescents have been the victim of a bully. The site also offers helpful advice for kids who are being bullied in kid-friendly language that adolescents, parents, and educators can appreciate & understand.

For more information about bullying, visit Bullies2Buddies.com and StopBullyingNow.

Related article courtesy of MSNBC.com.

Nicolette Kuff is a freelance writer from Upstate NY.

Be Sociable, Share!