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Warning Signs of Bullying

Warning Signs of Bullying

Recognizing the Signs of Bullying

According to StopBullying.Gov, about 20 percent of school-aged teens are bullied each year in the United States. When left unaddressed, bullying can have negative effects on a child’s mental health in both the immediate and distant future.

With such high statistics, it's important for adults to recognize the warning signs. Here’s what you should know.

How Bullying Can Impact Childrens’ and Teens’ Mental Health

When children and adolescents are subjected to bullying or bully others, it can cause a multitude of emotional health issues immediately and later in life. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, bullying can have the following negative effects on childrens’ and teens’ mental health:

  • Increased risk of substance abuse
  • Increased risk of being violent to others later in life
  • Increased risk for depression and other mental health issues
  • More likely to have academic issues

Behavioral Changes That May Mean a Child is Being Bullied

Many children and teens who are being bullied don’t speak up for themselves, making it important for adults, parents and guardians to recognize the signs of bullying. A child may be a victim of bullying if they exhibit the following behaviors as outlined by StopBullying.Gov:

  • Frequently faking illnesses to avoid going to school
  • Sudden changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Declining academic performance
  • Suddenly losing friends
  • Feeling helpless
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Exhibiting self-destructive behaviors like self-harming or running away

Behavioral Changes That May Mean a Child is Bullying Others

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is the possibility that a child is bullying others. According to StopBullying.Gov, a child may be a bully if they exhibit the following behaviors:

  • They have friends who tend to bully others
  • They exhibit signs of aggression frequently
  • They are being sent to the principal or to detention often
  • They blame others for their problems
  • They have trouble accepting responsibility for their actions
  • They are overly competitive
  • They prioritize their reputation or popularity

If you suspect your child may be being bullied or bullying others, it’s important to act quickly. Learn more about bullying and how to deal with it by visiting

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