70pc of teens are verbally bullied
Published 20/09/2010 | 05:00
SEVEN out of 10 Irish teenagers have experienced verbal bullying, a new study has revealed.
The study, carried out by Irish youth organisation Comhairle na nOg (CNO), has found that bullying is rampant among teenage school-goers.
The study was conducted across a sample of 352 students in the 12- to 18-year age bracket. It found that 67pc of those surveyed ranked verbal bullying highest, closely followed by exclusion bullying at 52pc.
Experts were taken aback by the scale -- 36pc -- of electronic bullying, which is defined as bullying or threatening communications through mobile phone calls, texts or e-mails.
But what worried experts the most was the sharp differences in the approach to bullying displayed by two age groups -- 12- to 14-year-olds and 15- to 17-year-olds.
Whereas 12- to 14-years-olds said they were comfortable with reporting incidents of bullying to a teacher, parent or adult friend, those in older age groups were much less likely to do so.
However, it is this very 15- to 17-year age group that is most likely to experience the various forms of bullying, the study found.
CNO official Shane Doocey said that while none of the findings were unexpected, they were taken aback by how some forms of bullying were rated by teenagers. "We were certainly very surprised by the increase in isolation (exclusion bullying)," he said.
CNO is now keen for other schools to agree to take part in its study, stressing that the ideal situation would be for every school in Ireland to participate in some such form of survey.
The youth group stressed that such a move would not only deliver a much more accurate picture of the extent of bullying in Irish classrooms, but would also, by its nature, help to raise awareness among teenage bullies of the consequences of their actions.
CNO stressed that such studies have in the past shown that they help children and teenagers to realise the importance of reporting incidents of bullying to those in authority.