Consequences of Victimization

There are serious negative consequences associated with being involved in any aggressive behaviors. And while problems with peers might be a result of one’s poor social skills and maladjustment, difficulty making friends, and regular experience of aggression can also be a cause of many short and long term negative consequences on one’s mental health and academic and professional achievements. Experience of relational aggression, peer rejection, and unpopularity (as well as other forms of bullying) are shown to be linked to various problems in adolescence:
    behavior problems;
    poor social skills;
    lack of close peer relationships;
    difficulties in academic performance;
    low school engagement;
    undermined feelings of competence;
    low self-esteem
    occasionally distress due to victimization can also result in physical symptoms such as wetting, abdominal pain, or/and headaches.

Some negative effects persist also into adulthood. In a longitudinal study, Dan Olweus found that young adults, who were victims of bullying in adolescence, had more symptoms of depression and lower self-esteem than did their non-victimized peers. Victims are also much more likely to engage in heavy smoking later in life Decreased academic engagement due to victimization can have some long term consequences as their lower educational attainment in adulthood leads to lower earnings.

Consequences of victimization for victims and bully-victims
There are differences of the consequences among the children who are rejected and aggressive, also known as bully-victims, and children who are rejected and withdrawn, also referred as simply victims. Aggressive individuals often have conduct problems and are involved in antisocial activity as adolescents; withdrawn children feel exceedingly lonely, at risk of low self-esteem, depression, and diminished social competence. Adolescents, who are both aggressive and withdrawn, are at greatest risk for various mental and behavioral problems.

Suicide ideation and attempts
Although victims respond to bullying in various ways, some of the most common ways include avoidance or escape behaviors, such as not going to school or some other places, and running away from home. However, in some extreme cases, suicide attempts might occur. Compared to non-victims, victims exhibit increased levels of suicidal ideation and are more likely to have attempted suicide. Researcher Kim found that victimized female but not male students were at significantly greater risk for suicidal ideation. Further researcher has shown that increased risk for suicidal ideation and attempts depend on specific interactions between gender, frequency, and type of aggression. Relational or indirect aggression was found to be associated with depression and suicidal ideation among both genders.According to Brustein and Klomek victimization at any frequency increased the risk of depression, ideation, and attempts among girls, while only frequent victimization increased the risk of depression and ideation among males. Katliala-Heino et al. found that severe ideation was associated with frequent victimization only among girls.