Bullying Effects

Effects of Teenage Bullying

One of the most painful aspects of bullying is that it is relentless.  Most people can take a few episodes of teasing or name calling or being excluded.  However, when it goes on and on, bullying can put a person in a state of constant fear or anxiety.  And the effects of bullying can be long-lasting.

The Common Effects of Bullying Include:

  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Physical illness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anger and impulsivity

Targets of Bullying Can Become:

  • Afraid to go to school
  • Fearing to ride the bus or walk to school
  • Afraid to use the school bathroom, hallway or other areas
  • Unable to focus at school and uninterested in school activities
  • Difficulty getting enough sleep
  • Unable to eat well
  • Isolated from friends and family
  • Uninterested in formerly enjoyable experiences

Note.  In extreme cases, teenage victims of bullying can become suicidal, although there are usually other factors involved.  In rare cases victims can also become violent – such as school shootings.

Bullies Can Also Be Affected

When bullies bully others they miss the chance to get their needs met in more effective ways – ways that are better for them and for others.  Bullying not only gets in the way of bullies getting their needs met, it is also time limited. 

Some teen bullies end up being rejected by their peers and lose friendships as they grow older. Bullies may also fail in school and dramatically restrict their options.  After high school, most bullies (not all) lose the world in which they can bully. 

Stop bullying image with effects of bullying

Middle School Bullying

The effects of bullying can be particularly problematic in middle school.  Middle school is a whole new bigger world to fit into.

  • Teens are usually transitioning from smaller schools to a larger school
  • Academic expectations increase
  • New friend groups are forming, and social pressures increase
  • For many teens, the beginning of puberty creates significant physical, emotional and behavior changes. 
  • Teens often don’t have the skills to manage all of these changes and expectations

All of this “newness” and pressure can make people more vulnerable to bullying at the same time that it can precipitate more bullying.