The Impact of Bullying Report produced by distance learning provider, Oxford Open Learning Trust reveals that over a third (35%) of women who were bullied at school, said it affected their mental health, compared to 27% of men.
In line with Anti Bullying Week, which runs from the 13th to the 17th November, the new research considers the long-term effects of bullying on UK adults, discovering who they were bullied by and how often, based on a survey of 2,104.
Of those polled by YouGov, 67% of those who had experienced bullying at school, were bullied by other people in their year. Interestingly, a third of women bullied (33%) admitted to being bullied by their friends, compared to 26% of men, whereas men were most likely to have been bullied by older children (45% versus 29% of women).
Bullying was more likely to affect women’s self-confidence than men’s (75% versus 63%). Those who admitted to being bullied in the past, also stated it affected their ability to make friends (37% versus 31%) and their mental health (35% versus 27%).
Julia Jackson, a therapeutic counsellor said: “Childhood bullying can often be dismissed as 'kids just being kids' but it's vital to support children and young people who are being bullied as the effects can be far reaching and long lasting.
“Adults who were bullied as children can struggle with low self-esteem, have difficulty forming healthy friendships and relationships and be more at risk from suffering with depression and anxiety.”
The online research also looked into the issue of cyber bullying. Over half (55%) of 18-24 year olds surveyed said that they have seen other people bullied on social media, and of those polled it was men who have been ridiculed the most on social media platforms, in comparison to women (11% versus 8%).
Dr Nick Smith, courses director and founder of Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “The long-lasting impact of bullying can be severe.
“We commissioned the research to learn about the landscape of bullying and how this has impacted on day to day life for adults. Not surprisingly, the long term effects of bullying can be physical and mental, but also have an impact on education too.”
Read the Impact of Bullying Report 2017 in full, here. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,104 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken 24 - 25 August 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
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