News story

Nearly half of kids with psoriasis surveyed report being bullied

In a National Psoriasis Foundation survey of children with psoriasis, nearly half the respondents report being bullied at least once in the last six months. The Psoriasis Foundation surveyed parents of children with psoriatic disease and found that 44 percent of kids have been bullied by their peers, and 38 percent say the abuse was a direct result of their psoriasis.

The survey found the most common forms of bullying endured by these children are teasing, being excluded by classmates and name calling. According to the survey, the emotional toll of this abuse on children was great:

  • More than 60 percent of those bullied say it causes anxiety
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of those bullied report crying
  • Almost one-quarter (23.5 percent) of those bullied had a decrease in academic performance
  • Nearly one-quarter (23.5 percent) of those bullied had difficulty sleeping

One parent reports that because of the teasing her daughter "locks herself in her bedroom and refuses to socialize with other kids." Another child's parents say their son was forced to switch schools when the abuse became physical. The survey findings reveal that other children experience panic attacks, low self-esteem and bouts of depression.

The Psoriasis Foundation surveyed parents about bullying in conjunction with World Psoriasis Day, a global event each year on Oct. 29. This year, the focus is on childhood psoriasis and the challenges of this disease for kids and their families.

Read more about the impact of psoriasis on children »

Oct. 26, 2010