Monday, May 25, 2009

Bullying may make kids psychotic, study suggests

Reuters, May 4th 2009

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People who are bullied as children have twice the risk of having delusions, hallucinations or other psychotic symptoms as pre-teens as those who have not been bullied, British researchers said on Monday.

They said bullying -- especially when it is severe or chronic -- can have serious consequences for some children, and may even act as a trigger for people who are genetically predisposed to schizophrenia.

"Chronic or severe peer victimization has nontrivial, adverse, long-term consequences," Andrea Schreier of the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, and colleagues wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Several studies have shown that traumatic events in childhood such as physical or sexual abuse are linked with the development of psychosis in adulthood. And people who display psychotic symptoms in childhood are more prone to develop schizophrenia as adults.

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