London: Researchers have found that childhood bullying could increase the risk of self-harm among individuals during their adolescent years.
Self-harm behaviours may stem from a desire to relieve tension or communicate stress, and in the most extreme cases may represent a suicidal intent in the individual, according to researchers.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, took great lengths to study previous exposure to an adverse family environment, such as domestic violence, parental style or existing childhood mental health problems, reports Science Daily.
"It is further evidence for doing away with the myth that bullying at a young age can be viewed as a harmless rite of passage. I'd like to see clinicians routinely asking children about bullying -- from name calling to more physical acts of abuse," said study author Dieter Wolke of the University of Warwick.
"The importance of this early intervention should not be understated. If we were able to eliminate bullying, while other exposures remained constant, there would be a potential to prevent 20 percent of all self-harm cases," Wolke added.