Prevent Adult Depression by Eliminating Childhood Bullying

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Encourage the United States government to institute new anti-bullying policies and challenge schools to step up their anti-bullying policies.

It goes without saying that the psychological effects of youth bullying can have devastating consequences later in life–depression, suicide, and general feelings of isolation and rejection are just a few of the potential side effects. Many outlets have attempted to do an in-depth, completely-encompassing study of the subject, with the 2011 documentary Bully standing out as one of the prime examples. But more and more facts and studies continue to come out about how awful and lasting bullying is, and yet it still persists. America must be doing all that it can to prevent childhood bullying to help create a stronger, happier, more well-adjusted adult workforce.

One of the more recent devastating examples was a long-term study which took a sample of 1,420 kids aged 9-16 in North Carolina years ago. The kids were then followed through adulthood and analyzed psychologically the entire way, up to age 26. According to this study, 24 percent of former bullying victims had developed some kind of anxiety disorder, while 32 percent of former bullies who had also been victims at some point reported a similar disorder. The total for subjects who had never been exposed to bullying was 6 percent.

That difference is extraordinary. It shows that, if additional efforts were undertaken to prevent bullying, thousands of Americans could eventually find themselves leading happier lives in their adulthood. The federal government needs to do more to help subdue this problem: additional after-school resources, increased access to psychological care, more involvement on the part of teachers, increased punishment for bullying…whatever it takes. This problem must be snuffed out before it can cause more harm.


Dear President Obama,

Bullying has long been a problem in your country. You know this; it is relatively common knowledge at this point. In recent years the battle against it has escalated to the point where eliminating bullying is high on schools’ priority lists. So why do new studies and reports and statistics keep flooding in about how bullying is still a major problem?

A recent North Carolina research study found that depression in adults is heavily influenced by childhood bullying. The study followed over a thousand children from childhood to adulthood: 32 percent of them who had been bullied or had been bullies themselves as children developed anxiety disorders, while only 6 percent of them who had never been exposed to bullying developed anxiety disorders. This is a drastic, significant percentage, one that projects to the thousands of citizens per year.

You must find a way to curb the problem of bullying in your nation. Increase access to psychological care, give teachers more power to stop classroom violence, create more after-school programs…whatever you can. Bullying is still a major problem in our society and will continue to be until we step up and do something about it. Begin the process of stepping up and doing something about it now.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: SeriouslyImBry via DeviantArt

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One Comment

  1. It may seem ambitious to believe that adult depression could be entirely wiped out with the lessening of childhood bullying. However, it’s not ambitious to believe that one directly leads to the other.

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