According to the new study from the University of Bristol, it is found that some young adults who were bullied as a child could have a greater risk of ongoing depression due to a mix of genetic and environmental factors. Researchers found that childhood bullying was strongly associated with the direction of depression that rises at an early age.
What was the aim of the study?
The researchers wanted to find out what factors influenced depression in young adults between the ages of 10 to 24 and some people responded to risk factors such as bullying, maternal postnatal depression, early childhood anxiety and domestic violence.
Results of the Study:
- The study published in the journal JAMA Network Open has found that young adults who were bullied as children were eight times more likely to experience depression that was limited to childhood.
- It was found that some children who were bullied showed greater patterns of depression that continued into adulthood and this group of children also showed genetic liability and family risk.
- Children who show high depression in young age are more likely to have genetic liability for depression and a mother with postnatal depression.
- However, children who were bullied and did not have any genetic liability for depression showed much lower depressive symptoms as they become young adults.
Alex Kwong, a Ph.D. student at the University Of Bristol in the UK said that “Although we are aware that depression can strike during the teenage years and we did not know how risk factors influenced change over time.” He further says ” Thanks to the children of the 90’s study, we were able to examine at multiple time points the relationship between the strongest risk factors such as bullying and maternal depression, as well as factors such as genetic liability.
According to the team of the researchers, it is important that we know if some children are more at risk of depression after any childhood bullying has occurred. He further added that “However, just because an individual has genetic liability to depression does not mean they are destined to go and have depression. There are a number of complex pathways that we still don’t fully understand and need to investigate.”
Rebecca Pearson, a lecturer at the university, said that results can help us to identify which group of children are likely to suffer ongoing symptoms of depression into adulthood and which group of children will recover adolescence. ” For example, the results suggest that children with multiple risk factors (including family history and bullying) should be targeted for early intervention but that when risk factors such as bullying occur insolation, symptoms of depression may be less likely to persist.”