A recent article in Time Magazine pointed out an important connection between bullies and victims. There appears to be certain people who are more likely to become the target of bullying based on a limited ability to form peer relationships. We must take this into consideration as part of any comprehensive bully prevention program because the ability to form relationships is a critical life skill that can be taught the same way empathy can be taught to the bully.
This article focused on children who displayed depressive symptoms in fourth grade and the likelihood of them becoming the target of bullying behavior in subsequent years.
The authors conclude: [E]ven subclinical levels of depressive symptoms can undermine development of peer relationships and…intervention efforts should be aimed at minimizing the adverse influence of depressive symptoms and associated deficits on these relationships.
"If adolescent depression forecasts peer relationship problems, then recognizing depression is very important at this particular age. This is especially true given that social adjustment in adolescence appears to have implications for functioning throughout an individual's lifetime.
We studied peer relationships within the school context. Parents tend not to observe these relationships. Because depression has the potential to undermine the maturation of key development skills, such as establishing healthy peer relationships, it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of adolescent depression. "Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/09/the-complicated-relationship-between-bullying-and-depression/#ixzz1mBTCBArm