Whether online or in person, childhood bullying is one of every parent's great worries, and new research has proven why it's so important to deal with the situation early on.


A study that analysed data from children aged eight to 29 has shown that bullying can have a very serious and lasting impact on their mental health for the rest of their lives.


The study, carried out by a team of experts from Finland's University of Turku, found that children bullied frequently at age eight or older are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders compared to those who were not victims.


Published in the health journal JAMA Psychiatry, the research has been hailed as groundbreaking in that it followed the kids' progress for the longest time period compared to other similar studies.



As part of the study, Dr Andre Sourander and his team looked at data belonging to about 5000 children. At age eight, the kids filled out questionnaires relating to their social experiences, and the research team then analysed visits for mental health treatment from age 16 to 29.


It was found that 23% of the kids who were victims of frequent bullying required help for a psychiatric disorder by the age of 30, with high numbers seeking help for depression.


In the research report, Dr Sourander appealed to parents to tackle bullying early on and to give particular care to children who were both victims and perpetrators of bullying.