Copeland and his colleagues tapped into a local population sample of 1,420 children from 11 Western North Carolina counties. Starting at the ages of 9, 11, and 13, the kids, along with their parents, were interviewed annually until the age of 16, fielding questions about peer relations and home and community settings. The participating children were again interviewed at 19, 21, and 24 to 26 years of age. Four groups emerged from this longitudinal study: people who were never involved in bullying, people who were victims, people who were bullies, and people who were both.
Some doctors and parents don't necessarily see this as a bad thing, and argue that there are times when medication can make all the difference. “Children like my son might be dead without it,” says Bridget Sediqzad, whose son, Maddox, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 3, when he was sleeping no more than a couple of hours at a time, throwing eight-hour-long tantrums, and biting other children at daycare. Maddox also experienced hallucinations that caused him to jump out of a low-story window, leading to a recent diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder (combining traits of bipolar and schizophrenia). At age 7, Maddox's problems are managed by five different psychiatric medications; today he's a loving big brother to a new baby at home and can accompany his mom to the store for 15 minutes or so without a meltdown. “For us, that's real progress,” says Sediqzad.