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Study: Effects Of Childhood Bullying Can Last Well Into Adulthood

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The effects of bullying can last a lifetime, a comprehensive new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry has concluded.

As CBS 2's Jessica Schneider reported Friday, if you have been bullied, it can affect everything from your social outlook to your earning power.

It seems like everyone has a story of being bullied.

"Being short all my life, I enjoyed -- endured, I should say better -- harassment of a special kind, being of my size," said Don Reiss of the Upper West Side.

Reiss still talks about the names he was called as a kid, and he agreed that the hurtful effects are lasting.

"Bullying has a tremendous impact on people, and it's one more hurdle for a teenage child, or even a young child, to overcome," Reiss said.

The new study began by following all of the 7,771 children born in Britain during one particular week in 1958, and tracked them from the age of 7 to the age of 50.

The journal said study concluded "the effects of bullying are still visible nearly four decades later."

"You have something that happens in childhood that sticks with a person, and it really shapes how they view the world and how they view themselves, and that has a significant impact on their functioning," said Columbia University psychiatrist Dr. Drew Ramsey.

The study showed the effects of bullying are wide-ranging. Social relationships may suffer, and people who were bullied as kids may even have a lower education level and earn less.

"You find an increased risk of depression, of anxiety; you find lower educational status -- just people who aren't doing well 40 years later in their adult life," Ramsey said.

The decades-long study seemed to quantify what many have long believed – that bullying takes a toll on more than childhood and can be permanently damaging.

"Your world is small and it's all about your peers and your friends, and if you feel like they're not supportive, it doesn't feel so good," said Sandy Goldshein of the Upper West Side. She added that it still hurts later in life.

It is a sad reality that researchers hope will change the way bullying is viewed.

The study accounted and adjusted for other outside factors, including a child's IQ and low parental involvement.

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