If your child is plagued by headaches, dizziness or other vague symptoms, and you've had trouble figuring out why, a new study now suggests that parents look for a new source for the problem: bullying.
According to a study from researchers at the Developmental and Social Psychology department at the University of Padua in Italy, children who complain of headache, backache, abdominal pain, skin problems, sleeping problems, bed-wetting or dizziness were more than twice as likely to be victims of bullying than those who did not have these symptoms. And for many kids, the symptoms lasted even after the bullying ceased or the bullying situation was resolved.
The study reviewed data from 30 studies in 15 countries that looked at the overall link between victims of bullying and psychosomatic health problems in kids. For the studies, the bullying was reported by the children themselves, parents or teachers.
Of course, not every child who deals with a bully will also develop one of these symptoms — just like not every child with headaches is actually a victim of bullying. There most definitely could be physical issues that bring on any of these symptoms, but if the physical conditions have already been ruled out, researchers recommend that parents at least take a closer look at the possibility of bullying as a cause of their child's symptoms.
This study was published in a recent issue of Pediatrics.
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