By Lizzy Ioannidou
Approximately two in every 10 teenage students are victims of bullying in Cyprus, the worrying results of a cross-national survey on health behaviour in school-aged children has revealed.
The study, conducted by the HSBC research network in 49 countries and regions across Europe and North America, collects data every four years on boys and girls aged 11, 13, and 15, regarding their health, well-being, social environments and health behaviours.
The study was conducted locally for the first time in 2018 by the pedagogical institute with a census of 1,092 teens.
The result of the study showed that just over two out of 10 students (22 per cent) had been victims of bullying on school grounds, while 12.6 per cent responded that they had recently been victims of cyberbullying.
Some 14.1 per cent reported that they had bullied another schoolmate at least once within a period of two months from the time they had submitted their response.
Further, four in 10 teens spoke of being involved in fights, while one in two said they had been injured and treated by a nurse or doctors at least once in the past year.
Attitudes of teens towards school were more positive, as 60.2 per cent said they either liked school ‘a bit’ or ‘a lot’, though positive attitudes towards school decreased among the higher age groups.
Regarding levels of support in school environments, most students spoke of a satisfactory level of support and acceptance by their teachers.
The study also found that as children grow, they report lower levels of connection with their families, though Cypriot teens showed higher levels of bonding with their families in comparison with other countries involved in the HSBC network.
Specifically, two thirds (66.3 per cent) of teens said they can ‘easily’ or ‘very easily’ communicate with their fathers regarding issues that are troubling them, while over 80 per cent said they are comfortable communicating their concerns to their mothers.