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The subject of “bullying” has been gaining momentum, replacing a nonchalant attitude driven by a nonchalant label. Evidence emerges on the psychological front that bullying has lasting, debilitating effects on mental health and self-image, as evidenced by a surge in eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and suicides. Bullied children often spend their adulthoods casting themselves in similar roles, perpetuating the cycle.
The National Youth Violence Prevention Resources Center and The Health Resources and Services Administration reports that 15% to 25% of students in the U.S. are bullied. US bullying behavior has seen a 5% increase. Children who are obese, gay, or have disabilities are at a 63% increased risk.
Bullied children as well as their aggressors are more likely to be experiencing family dysfunction, domestic violence, conduct and personality disorders, and criminal conduct than the general school population. Bullying magnifies these genetic and environmental predisposing risk factors.
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