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Teen girls more vulnerable to bullying, finds study


A new study has observed that girls are more often bullied than boys and are more likely to consider, plan, or attempt suicide.

"Bullying is significantly associated with depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, suicide planning, and suicide attempts. We wanted to look at this link between bullying victimisation, depressive symptoms, and suicidality by gender," wrote one of the researchers, Nancy Pontes, in the study published in the Journal of Nursing Research.

In general, girls are more often bullied than boys, and girls are also more likely to consider, plan or attempt suicide compared with boys, regardless of being bullied or not, although boys are more likely to die by suicide.

Researchers found the effects of bullying are significantly higher in females than males on every measure of psychological distress or suicidal thoughts and actions.

Bullying among boys is often physical. While many schools are cracking down on physical bullying which people can see, those actions probably are preventing and stopping bullying that's more common among males.

Among females, the bullying is often the kind that's not visible. It's often relational bullying, such as excluding someone from activities and social circles or spreading rumours about them.

The researcher also believes that preventing bullying should begin at a young age and parents should start teaching preschool children that bullying is unacceptable.

There are parents who see it as a rite of passage. They said, 'Everyone gets bullied. You have to buck up. Stand up for yourself.

Paediatricians and nurse practitioners should talk about the harmful effects of bullying with parents so that they can intervene early and reduce the victimisation that causes adolescents to consider suicide, so they will be able to live happier and healthier lives.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 08 2019. 17:14 IST