According to a new study featured on TIME, children who have been bullied by their peers may have a hard time shaking off the stigma of the experience even as they reach adulthood.

Researchers from the University of Warwick and Duke Medical Center surveyed 1,420 children nine and 16 years old who saw themselves as victims, bullies, or both. Upon reaching their 20s, the participants were evaluated and then compared with a control group.

According to the results, those who were bullied were two times less likely to land or maintain a job and had less successful social relationships as compared with those who were not. These individuals also found it hard to maintain long-term relationships with their friends and even their parents. The effects of childhood bullying, however, were more prevalent in bully-victims who were likely to engage in self-destructive behavior.

"The intensity of the emotional pain bullying elicits, and the fact that other people underestimate how much hurt they feel makes being bullied an incredibly traumatic experience that can leave significant emotional scars," psychologist Guy Winch explains.

This is why it is important for parents to always keep in touch with their kids and to be sensitive to their emotional signals. By reinforcing love and acceptance, you may help give them a better future.

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(Photo by Jixar via Flickr Creative Commons; photo used for illustrative purposes only)

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