Bullying has very adverse effect on children, especially in later stage of their life. Bullying leads to a number of physical and mental health effects which includes depression and lower self-worth when they grow older. But a new study has stressed upon the bullies and not the victim who are bullied.
In an interesting finding, the researchers have discovered that even thought bullying leads to depression and bad health in victims, it has numerous health benefits for bullies.
For the study, the researchers followed over 1,000 children living in western North Carolina over seven years.
These kids were interviewed on multiple occasions at different stages of their lives, starting at age nine. The participants were followed till the age of 20.
During each interview, the researchers collected blood samples and surveyed the participants. Some of the questions include, if they had experienced bullying over the course of the last three months. This helped researchers to analyze changes in the CRP levels of the participants over time, starting even before the bullying occurred.
Researchers say Chronic inflammation is measured by C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood. It is associated with increased risk for several health woes, like cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. According to the researchers, the childhood bully has the least of it.
“Pure bullies had the lowest blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation. This is kind of a beneficial outcome,” because CRP is a risk factor for a variety of health problems down the road, such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, Copeland says. These findings therefore suggest that “the bullying experience was protective for the bullies,” says William Copeland, an epidemiologist at Duke University and co-author of the study.
The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.