MAPSTATS

Bullying and cyberbullying experienced by children in Europe

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Understanding and preventing bullying and cyberbullying

Proportions who reported being bullied at least twice at school in the past couple of months

With the increasing ubiquity of the internet, social media and online platforms, the way people, and particularly young people, interact has dramatically changed.

country
Bullying in School¹
Lithuania53
Latvia49
Portugal39
Estonia38
Austria36
Belgium34
Bulgaria34
Romania34
United Kingdom32
Luxembourg31
Poland30
Hungary30
France29
EU2728
Finland28
Ireland28
Slovak Republic26
Malta25
Germany23
Netherlands22
Slovenia22
Denmark20
Czech Republic18
Greece18
Croatia17
Spain16
Italy15
Sweden13


Switzerland33
Norway21
Iceland17

While technological developments offer children and young people new opportunities for personal development and growth, they also present challenges to health and well-being. Concern has been rising in particular about cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can include sending offensive messages or comments online, spreading rumours, excluding victims from online groups and other forms of harassment (OECD, 2017). Like bullying, exposure to cyberbullying has been related to a wide range of negative outcomes, including stress and suicidal thoughts (Kowalski et al., 2014), depression and anxiety (Fahy et al., 2016).

Proportions who had experienced cyberbullying by message (instant messages, wall-postings, emails and text messages) at least once.

country
Cyberbullying
Lithuania22
Latvia16
Portugal9
Estonia11
Austria8
Belgium19
Bulgaria17
Romania16
United Kingdom13
Luxembourg9
Poland12
Hungary17
France6
EU2711
Finland10
Ireland14
Slovak Republic11
Malta14
Germany6
Netherlands10
Slovenia11
Denmark8
Czech Republic8
Greece4
Croatia11
Spain7
Italy8
Sweden7


Switzerland9
Norway7
Iceland6

The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey of 42 countries asked children about their experiences of bullying on the internet, and found that on average 11% of children aged 11, 13 and 15 reported having been cyberbullied at least once by message. Just over 3% of children reported having been cyberbullied by message at least 2-3 times a month. In all countries, the rate of bullying in school was found to be significantly higher than the rate of cyberbullying.

Some interventions have been found as effective ways to counter cyberbullying, including school-based anti-bullying programmes, programmes including parent meetings, parent and child education, and teaching empathy and coping skills (Hutson, Kelly and Militello, 2018; Farrington and Ttofi, 2009) although the long-term effectiveness of these programmes is not clearly evidenced (Cantone et al., 2015).

source: OECD – Health at a glance 2018

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