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Bullying & Psoriasis

Kids With Psoriasis Often Bullied

November 29, 2010

For the 500,000 children and teens in America with psoriasis, everyday life can be challenging. And a new survey from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) reveals that those everyday challenges often include bullying, harassment, discrimination and physical assaults.

According to the NPF's research, 44% of the parents of children with psoriasis reported that their child had been teased, threatened, insulted or physically assaulted in the previous six months. Almost half the children with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis were also excluded from school or social activities.

As a result of bullying, the children experienced anxiety, crying and sleeping difficulties, their parents reported. Almost one-quarter said bullying caused a drop in academic achievement, and over 17% of the children avoided school or group activities as a result.

The NPF survey found examples like one child who "locks herself in her bedroom and refuses to socialize with other kids." Another child's parents stated that their son was forced to change to a different school after the teasing turned into physical abuse.

"The psychological impact of psoriasis can be particularly traumatic for children and adolescents," the NPF said in a news release. "Of great concern, studies suggest that these negative experiences in adolescence may have long-term negative effects on self-esteem and anxiety levels in adulthood."

Parents reported responding to these incidents in a variety of ways, including taking steps to educate teachers, staff and students about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Parents also reported speaking to the parents of their child's classmates in an effort to educate more people about the condition.

Article Continues Below

Get 10 tips on helping your child deal with bullying. Also visit Stop Bullying Now!, a website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for resources.

Source: National Psoriasis Foundation

Physician-developed and -monitored.
Original Date of Publication: 29 Nov 2010
Reviewed by: the Editorial Staff at
Last Reviewed: 29 Nov 2010
Last Modified:06 Dec 2010

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