Protect children from bullying if you want to reduce depression rates in young adults and adults, a new study suggests.
A new study conducted by a consortium of researchers from four United Kingdom universities looked at data from the Avon Longitudinal Study for Parents and Children and analyzed records of nearly 4,000 subjects in the age group between 8 and 13 years old.
The overall results indicated that of children aged 13 at the time of the study, almost 30 percent who were subjected to frequent bullying went on to develop depression by the time they reached 18 or later in life.
Depression poses a great threat worldwide, both socially and economically. If at least one of the factors could be significantly reduced, then this burden would be less likely to take hold of individuals.
In the study, the researchers took other factors into account as well. Social class belonging, family medical history with relation to mental health, child abuse or behavior issues were analyzed in relation to the risk of developing depression.
Bullying however stood out as the most relevant factors. Many of the adults included in the study recalled having been bullied when they were 8 to 13 years old.
The data from the Avon study revealed that at the age of 13 the participants were asked about the types of bullying they were exposed to, as well as the frequency of bullying.
Frequency meant at least once a week – frequently, four times overall – repeatedly, less than these four times – sometimes and the last category – not at all.
The results showed that from the 638 teenagers who stated that they were bullied frequently, 15 percent were reported to have been depressed at the age of 18. The group comprised of 1,446 participants who reported they were bullied sometimes, 7 percent went on to be depressed when they reached 18.
A comparatively smaller percent – 5.5 of those who had never been bullied according to records were depressed at the same age.
Most importantly, the results hold up for both male and female participants in the study.
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