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Being Bullied Can Cause Trauma Symptoms

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  11/28/12 Being bullied can cause trauma symptoms1/4www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094003.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_mediu… Being Bullied Can Cause TraumaSymptoms ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2012) — Problems caused by bullying do not necessarily cease when the abuse stops. Recent research shows that victims may need long-term support.   This study of 963 children aged 14 and 15 in Norwegian schools found a highincidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among bulliedpupils. These signs were seen in roughly 33 per cent of respondents who saidthey had been victims of bullying. This is noteworthy, but nevertheless unsurprising, says psychologist ThormodIdsøe from the Universitiy of Stavanger (UiS) and Bergen's Center for CrisisPsychology. Bullying is defined as long-term physical or mental violence by anindividual or group. It's directed at a person who's not able to defend themselves at the relevanttime. We know that such experiences can leave a mark on the victim. He has published an article on Bullying and PTSD symptoms in the  Journal of  Abnormal Child Psychology   with colleague Ella Maria Cosmovici Idsøe at the UiSCentre for Behavioural Research and psychologist Atle Dyregrov from the Centerfor Crisis Psychology.The study measured the extent of intrusive memories and avoidance behaviouramong pupils. These are two of three defined PTSD symptoms. The third,physiological stress activation, was not covered. High levels of defining signs Recent research on working life has found that 40-60 per cent of adult victims of bullying reveal high levels of these three defining signs.But few national or international investigations have been conducted on therelationship between being bullied and PTSD symptoms among schoolchildren. Traumatic experiences or strains imposed on us by others can often hurt morethan accidents, says Idsøe. That could be why so many pupils report suchsymptoms. They can cause great difficulties concentrating, have a disruptive effect andprevent sufferers from functioning normally in daily life. Idsøe has personally seen how PTSD symptoms can create problems for schoolchildren. Pupils who're constantly plagued by thoughts about or images of painfulexperiences, and who use much energy to suppress them, will clearly have less  11/28/12 Being bullied can cause trauma symptoms2/4www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094003.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_mediu… capacity to concentrate on schoolwork. Nor is this usually easy to observe -- they often suffer in silence. More girls The research also shows that girls are more likely to display PTSD symptomsthan boys, Idsøe reports. That accords with studies of other types of strain. We also found that those with the worst symptoms were a small group of pupils who, in addition to being victims of bullying, frequently bullied fellow pupilsthemselves. He finds it difficult to provide a definite explanation of why some groups aremore likely to develop PTSD symptoms, but says this question is a general issueamong trauma specialists. One explanation, for example, could be that difficult earlier experiences makethe sufferers more vulnerable, and they thereby develop symptoms and mentalhealth problems more easily. Awareness He hopes that the study's findings can help to boost awareness that a number of bullied schoolchildren may need support even after the mistreatment has ended. In such circumstances, adult responsibility isn't confined to stopping thebullying. It also extends to following up the victims. Idsøe and his co-researchers have not investigated how much help bullied pupilsget afterwards, but their impression is that such follow-up remains inadequate. Immediate We know that Norwegian schools devote much attention to putting a stop tobullying it, and that pupils who need immediate support do receive it, Idsøesays. But we also see that such assistance stops too early. Although the bullying may have ended, PTSD symptoms could persist for a long time with some children. In his view, teachers and schools should be aware of the need certain pupilsmight have for long-term follow-up. In some cases, that could also require theinvolvement of the health service. It's important to monitor how pupils develop after being bullied, and to beaware of the possibility that they might develop PTSD symptoms. It's not always easy to spot that a child is being plagued by intrusive memoriesand avoidance strategies. So teachers must be offered more information on theseconditions. They need to know how to detect that a pupil needs to be referred on, and must  11/28/12 Being bullied can cause trauma symptoms3/4www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094003.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_mediu… be able to tailor teaching for children with such difficulties. Limitations Idsøe acknowledges that the study has its methodological limitations, and thatmore detailed studies of the link between bullying and PTSD are thereforerequired. Although we asked about PTSD symptoms related to episodes of bullying, wecan't exclude the possibility that the responses may relate in some cases to othertraumatic incidents, he says.To study this in more detail, the researchers will now join a Finnish study of 1,100 schoolchildren to check the relationship between bullying and PTSDsymptoms regularly over several years.Idsøe also belongs to a national research group investigating the link betweenbeing bullied and the psychiatric diagnosis of PTSD. That involves more criteriathan a high level of symptoms. Share this story on Facebook  , Twitter  , and Google :Other social bookmarking and sharing tools: Story Source: The above story is reprinted from materials  [1]   provided by The Universityof Stavanger    [2]   , via AlphaGalileo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above. Journal Reference :1. Thormod Idsoe, Atle Dyregrov, Ella Cosmovici Idsoe. Bullying and PTSDSymptoms .  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology  , 2012; 40 (6): 901 DOI:10.1007/s10802-012-9620-0 [3] Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:The University of Stavanger (2012, November 27). Being bullied can causetrauma symptoms. ScienceDaily  . Retrieved November 28, 2012, fromhttp://www.sciencedaily.com   - /releases/2012/11/121127094003.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+science  Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.  isclaimer : This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.  11/28/12 Being bullied can cause trauma symptoms4/4www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094003.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_mediu… 1. http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=126285&CultureCode=en2. http://www.uis.no/ 3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-012-9620-0  

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