A study published in the May issue of Pediatrics shows both bullies and their victims are more likely than other students to show up in the school nurse’s office—not just for bruises, but also for somatic illnesses such as headaches, joint pain, stomach aches, and chronic fatigue.
Researchers led by Eric Vernberg, the director of the Child and Family Services Clinic at the University of Kansas, compared school nurses’ logs with reports from 590 children in grades 3-5 about bullying they faced in school. The researchers found that the more often a child was tagged as an aggressor, the more frequent his or her visits to the nurse’s office.
In a statement, Mr. Vernberg suggested that repeated episodes of bullying can be stressful for both sides, leading over time to chronic stress and a weakened immune system.
A version of this article appeared in the June 15, 2011 edition of Education Week as Bullying