In recent years, there have been an increasing amount of media reports of bullying in our schools. Studies have shown that negative effects associated with bullying including loneliness, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness. In a new report published in the journal of Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from Duke University have shown that bullying may have a much deeper impact on its victim than previously thought. According to the study, children who experience bullying have been found to have shortened telomeres, which in essence means that its impact reaches deep down into the DNA of its victims.
CITATION: “Exposure to Violence During Childhood is Associated with Telomere Erosion from 5 to 10 Years of Age: A Longitudinal Study,” Idan Shalev, Terrie Moffitt et al. Molecular Psychiatry, April 24th. doi:10.1038/mp.2012.32