There’s many frustrating misconceptions about bullying. One of them is the idea that its effects are short lived.
People still tend to treat is as a “right of passage” or a “part of growing up”. There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. In one study there was even a link found between bullying and brain damage.
Despite this, popular opinion seems to be that the effects of bullying are temporary.
A recent study performed at the Wayne State College in Nebraska reveals that the effects of bullying may last into college:
The data suggest that students who are bullied in high school and/or junior high school continue to be victimized (called names, excluded from class activities, physically abused, etc.) in college.
Whether a consequence of being bullied in high school, in junior high school, or in college, the victims feel alone and isolated. They find it hard to make friends, and they feel that no one will listen to them while in college.
Victims also reported that they do not know how to fight back when individuals say hurtful things to them; they report this to a much greater degree than those not bullied.
All this seems obvious. Why would a bully’s behavior suddenly change simply because they left high school and entered college?
Would the things that made someone an easy target in high school not make them easy targets in college?
There’s evidence suggesting that the targets of bullying score lower on tests.
It seems pretty obvious that the effects of bullying often change the course of people’s entire lives.
It’s more than a phase. It’s more than a “right of passage”. It’s a real problem with real consequences.
ADAMS, FRANK D., and GLORIA J. LAWRENCE. “Bullying Victims: The Effects Last Into College.” American Secondary Education 40.1 (2011): 4-13. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.