Effects of Bullying

Child abuse needs to stop and education is the key.
The following free resources are essential to driving change and
are made possible through your contributions. Thank you.

Bullying Has No Winners


What happens to kids during childhood shapes who they become. Bullying is often written off as a rite of passage or as “kids just being kids.” However, bullying can have lasting physical, mental, and emotional effects.



While the target of the bullying bears the brunt of the harm, everyone is impacted by it.

Bullying is a direct attack on a student’s status, sense of belonging, and core identity, often resulting in low self-esteem.

Bullying can result in reluctance to go to school, truancy, headaches, stomach pains, reduced appetite, shame, anxiety, irritability, aggression, and depression.

The effects of bullying often continue many years into adulthood, both for a child who was bullied and for a child who was bullying others. In the most extreme cases, targets have taken out their anger and despair through school shootings or by committing suicide.


The Impact of Bullying

person yelling at another icon - bullying impacts

The Bullied

Lasting Effects include:

Injuries, fear, embarrassment, Low Self-Esteem, Depression & Anxiety, Risk of Suicide, headaches, digestive issues, weight change, & possible heart disease


  • They are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool.”
  • They are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves.
  • They are depressed, anxious, or have low self esteem.
  • They are less popular than others and have few friends.
  • They do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention.
two people standing icon - bystander effects of bullying

The Bystander

Lasting Effects include:

Tobacco & Smoking, alcohol & Drug use, mental health problems, depression & anxiety, missing or skipping school


  • Students on the sidelines (the “bystanders”) commonly report extreme discomfort at witnessing bullying, but say that they do not know how to prevent it.
  • Many are silenced by their fear that they will be the next target of bullying if they dare to speak out.
  • Often they grow up believing that they are powerless to stop abusive behaviors in others.

When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.


man with head on table with bottle - bullying

The Bully

Lasting Effects include:

Aggressive & destructive behavior, dropping out of school early, Risky sexual activity, criminal & traffic convictions, & Intimate Partner Violence


  • Students who habitually bully miss the opportunity to learn an alternative to aggression. Research tells us that they often develop a habitual tendency to abuse power and are increasingly shunned as they reach the higher grades. 
  • Approximately 25 percent of school bullies will be convicted of a criminal offense in their adult years.
References & Sources
  3. BULLYING AND VICTIMIZATION AMONG CHILDREN, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
  4. Hawkins, D. L., Pepler, D., and Craig, W. M. (2001). Peer interventions in playground bullying.  Social Development, 10, 512-527.

The abuse may be brief, but the trauma lasts a lifetime.
Kids’ lives and futures are on the line!
Be the voice against neglect and contribute to end child maltreatment today.

Positive Parenting Support,
At the click of a button.

Previous Section

Parenting Resource Center

Effects of Bullying