A new study says that children who are bullied by other kids could have mental health problems when they are adults. The study found that bullied children are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety in adulthood than children who suffered child abuse. Researchers found that the children who experienced only bullying were 1.6 times more likely than those who experienced only child abuse to have mental health problems or to have tried to harm themselves. Researcher Dr Dieter Wolke said society often thinks bullying is a normal part of childhood. He said: "Being bullied is not a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up; it has serious long-term consequences."
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Bullying is a big problem around the world. In Britain, about 16,000 children stay at home and do not go to school because they are often bullied. Their exam results suffer and so do their chances of going to university or getting good jobs. Bullied children may also suffer from other problems. They can have serious illnesses, an inability to focus on one thing for a long time, poor social skills, and have trouble holding down a job or staying in a relationship. Catherine Bradshaw, an expert on youth violence, said parents and schools needed to do more about recognising and preventing bullying. She said parents needed to teach their children how to communicate well with other children.