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Bullying among preemies can result into future mental health concerns

Tuesday, 3/8/2016

McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine has conducted a study that reveals preemies are more likely to face bullying and may develop mental health problems as adults.  The research indicates it is important for parents, teachers and clinicians to be aware of the long-term effects of peer victimization on mental health as well as becoming cognizant of bullying and to intervene as soon as possible.  Results from the study revealed preemies (extremely low birth weight of 2.2 or less) from 1977 to 1982 in Ontario, Canada were twice as likely to be bullyied due to poor motor skills, more anxiety and struggles at school. The study interviewed participants in their early 20's, mid 20's and at 30 years old and found those who were bullied were twice as likely to experience anxiety, depression or ADHD by their 20s and the risk was higher for those who experienced bullying more often. By the time participants were in their 30s were three times more likely to have developed anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, and panic disorder. "This is the first study to fully illustrate the profound and long-lasting effects of bullying on the mental health of preterm survivors," said Dr. Ryan Van Lieshout, the senior author of the study and an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster. "Their risk for anxiety disorders is especially high, particularly among those who are exposed to bullying on a regular basis." Click on the link for the full article

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