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14.4% of children in Cyprus victims via the internet in the last months

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    Τ&omicron ;πιινκομσδ ιδκτοςευςμorν ;ς

    14.4% of children in Cyprus have been victimized online – What global research shows

    At 14.4% the percentage of children who have been victim via internet at least 1-2 times in the last months in Cyprus, while in terms of causing cyberbullying, the percentage of children in Cyprus who have bullied another child online at least 1-2 times in the last months amounts to 9, 5%, according to the results of the international survey Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) ).

    Based on the results of the survey regarding bullying at school, in Cyprus 4.3% of students have bullied other children at school at least 2-3 times a month in recent months.< /p>

    Regarding victimization at school, based on the results of the survey, in Cyprus 7.8% of international students have been bullied at least 2-3 times a month in recent months, while regarding involvement in fights, in Cyprus the percentage of children who participated in fights at least 3 times in the last 12 months amounts to 10.6%.

    In conclusion, the results for Cyprus follow international trends, with the corresponding percentages of Cyprus being lower in terms of bullying at school and on the internet (provocation and victimization), while in terms of getting involved in fights, the percentage of Cyprus is similar to the corresponding international one.

    The results indicate the need to handle all forms of bullying and violence among children, both internationally and in Cyprus.

    It is noted, at the same time, that the alarming increase in cyberbullying, especially in recent years, among certain groups of children, is evident and although it is not clear whether cyberbullying replaces bullying at school, it should be an important social priority.

    According to an announcement by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) international survey (http://keea-hbsc.pi.ac.cy/hbsc/) is conducted every four years and provides international comparative data on health, quality of life, social environment and health behaviors of school children (11, 13 and 15 years old). It has been recognized internationally as an authoritative source of information on adolescent health issues, adopting the position that health encompasses physical, social and emotional aspects.

    The research has been carried out since 1983 and approximately 50 countries worldwide participate in it. Following a decision of the Council of Ministers (#290/2018), the research was placed under the auspices of the Ministries of Health and Education, Sports and Youth (YPAN), while its implementation is carried out by the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation (KEEA), of the Pedagogical Institute of the Ministry of the Interior.

    The Pilot Survey was carried out in December 2018 and 1182 students from 61 schools participated in it. The Main Research was carried out during the period November 2021-April 2022 with the participation of 4818 students from a total of 212 schools (276 departments), both public and private. An electronic student questionnaire was administered to collect the data. A school questionnaire was also administered (200 schools).

    The first thematic report of the research concerned the mental health and well-being of adolescents. This announcement concerns the second thematic report, which focuses on peer violence and bullying based on international results (data from 279,117 male and female students from 44 countries). Other thematic reports on substance use, physical activity, eating habits and body image, sexual health, family, peer and social contexts, and social network use will be published gradually.

    The results of the second thematic report on the three aspects examined – school bullying, cyberbullying and fighting – are presented with references to gender, age and socio-economic level as follows.

    As for causing bullying at school, internationally 6.0% of students have bullied other children at school at least 2-3 times a month in recent months, with the corresponding percentage for Cyprus being lower (4.3% ). In terms of gender, both internationally and in Cyprus, boys report a higher rate of participation in bullying than girls. In terms of age, no differences are found.

    In relation to the socio-economic level, differences are observed between children in some countries (13 countries for boys and 10 countries for girls), but not in Cyprus. In these cases, the rates of bullying are higher for children from lower socio-economic strata.

    Regarding victimization at school, 11.0% of students internationally have been bullied at least 2-3 times a month in recent months, with the corresponding percentage for Cyprus being lower (7.8%).

    Both internationally and in Cyprus, there is no gender differentiation. For boys in most countries (24 out of 44) rates decrease with increasing age. This does not apply to Cyprus and some other countries (e.g. Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden) where the highest rates are recorded for 13-year-old boys.

    Regarding the socio-economic level, differences are observed in some countries (9 countries for boys and 10 countries for girls), with the percentages of children from lower socio-economic strata being higher. It is worth noting that in Cyprus, the percentage is higher for girls from a high socioeconomic background (11.0%) than for girls from a low socioeconomic level (7.0%).

    As for cyberbullying, the percentage of children internationally who have bullied another child online at least 1-2 times in the last months amounts to 12.0%, with the corresponding percentage for Cyprus being lower (9.5%). As is the case internationally (14.0% of boys and 9.0% of girls), the percentage in Cyprus is also higher for boys than for girls.

    In several countries the percentage is higher for the 13-year-old age group, while in Cyprus it is higher for 15-year-olds. Although internationally there is no correlation of rates with socio-economic level, in Cyprus the rates are higher for children from low socio-economic strata.

    Regarding online victimization, the relative percentage of children who have been victimized at least 1-2 times in the last months internationally is 16.0% (15.0% of boys and 16.0% of girls), with the percentage for Cyprus to be a little lower (14.4%). In several countries the percentages of girls are higher than those of boys, while in Cyprus no gender difference is observed. Finally, both internationally and in Cyprus, no correlation is observed with the socioeconomic level.

    Regarding involvement in fights, the percentage of children who were involved in fights at least 3 times in the last 12 months amounts to 10.0% internationally. A similar percentage is recorded in Cyprus (10.6%). In almost all countries, including Cyprus, boys in all three age groups report higher rates than girls (14.0% compared to 6.0%).

    The rates both internationally and in Cyprus they decrease with age. Furthermore, in a number of countries (about half for boys and 6 countries for girls) correlations with socioeconomic level are observed, with boys' rates being higher for affluent children. In Cyprus, no correlation is observed with the socio-economic level.

    In conclusion, the results for Cyprus follow international trends, with the corresponding percentages of our country being lower in terms of bullying at school and on the internet (provocation and victimization).

    As for getting involved in fights , the Cyprus rate is similar to the international equivalent.

    The results indicate the need to address all forms of bullying and violence among children, both internationally and in Cyprus.

    In conclusion, according to the Ministry of Health's announcement, traditional forms of violence that include bullying and victimization at school, as well as being involved in fights, remain important priorities for public health.

    “Therefore they should remain in focus by implementing interventions at the school, family and community level to prevent and address them. Additionally, continued data collection to monitor trends in youth violence is essential to inform these efforts. The alarming increase in cyberbullying especially in recent years, among certain groups of children, is evident. Although it is not clear whether cyberbullying replaces bullying at school, it should be an important social priority”, it is noted.

    The Ministry of Education, as stated in the announcement, will focus on exploiting the research data, with with the aim of improving specific aspects of the educational system related to the promotion of the health of school-aged children.

    According to the Ministry, given the regular participation of Cyprus in the international HBSC survey, a clearer picture is expected regarding the level of improvement in the areas examined by this research, while conducting comparative measurements for all aspects examined by the research, which will become possible in the future, will enable our country to further reshape, adapt and design relevant politicians.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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