Put this very interesting finding, for now, in the "more research needed" file.
UK researchers say a study of more than 6,000 12-year-olds found "the appearance of psychotic symptoms was twice as high among the victims of bullying, regardless of whether they had any psychiatric illness, family trouble or their level of intelligence," according to Reuters. The link was stronger when the bullying was chronic or severe, the researchers conclude.
But they also found that 46.2 percent of the children had been bullied at age 8 or 10.
46 percent? Either a handful of bullies are very, very busy or there are a lot of bullies out there (and the answer to this may depend on the hard-to-pin-down definition of bullying). Not to minimize the seriouslness of bullying, but the figure, derived in the new study from surveys of the children and parents, is one of those touchy things that doesn't always get reported accurately by those involved, like when adults are asked how many sex partners they've had.
In fact studies vary wildly on this. Some U.S. research has indicated that about 30 percent of kids are bullied. One study back in 1999 put the figure at 80 percent. (Adults are bullied, too, perhaps especially in the workplace.)
The new story also doesn't address this question: Might children prone to psychotic symptoms be more likely to say they've been bullied when undergoing psychological analysis at age 8?
In our new Etc. format, LiveScience provides links to articles of interest around the web. It is in Beta.