Bullying leaves indelible imprint on a teen’s brain

A new wave of research into bullying’s effects is now suggesting that bullying can leave an indelible imprint on a teen’s brain at a time when it is still growing and developing. Being ostracized by one’s peers, it seems, can throw adolescent hormones even further out of whack, lead to reduced connectivity in the brain, and even sabotage the growth of new neurons.

The research is reported in a Boston Globe article which can be viewed by clicking here.

As reported in the Globe aticle, these neurological scars, it turns out, closely resemble those borne by children who are physically and sexually abused in early childhood.

This change in perspective could have all sorts of ripple effects for parents, kids, and schools; it offers a new way to think about the pain suffered by ostracized kids, and could spur new antibullying policies. It offers the prospect that peer harassment, much like abuse and other traumatic experiences, may increasingly be seen as a medical problem — one that can be measured with brain scans, and which may yield to new kinds of clinical treatment.

Click here to read the full Globe story.

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