The physical scars from bullying may heal, but psychological scars can last into adulthood. Recent research reports that kids who experience relational bullying (social shunning, rumors, exclusion, etc.) are more prone to depression, anxiety, and loneliness in adulthood. Both males and females who were the victims of relational bullying had higher rates of depression in adulthood, even if they had extensive support networks. Contrary to previous research, having a lot of friends does not reduce the lifelong effect of bullying for some children.
This research highlights the need for parents, school officials, and community leaders to recognize instances of, and to intervene on behalf of children who bully and those who are being bullied.