Tuesday, August 4, 2020
US flag

Poorer countries have more bullying, fighting

A press release from McGill University describes a study showing that youth violence is more prevalent in countries that are economically disadvantaged.

Using data from two international school-based surveys, the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children and Global School-based Health Survey, Frank Elgar, a professor at the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University reports on rates of bullying and physical fighting in 79 countries.

We note that the study reports a correlation, not a causation, and no causative effects are concluded in the study, which has been published in The Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study focused on bullying victimization (repeated physical or verbal aggression, involving a power imbalance between victim and aggressor) during the previous two months and frequent physical fighting (4 or more episodes in the previous year) in over 330,000 youths ages 11 to 16.

Mr Elgar and his colleagues linked these records to information about the countries’ per capita income, income inequality, and government spending on education.

“Bullying and physical fighting are far more prevalent in poorer countries,” he was quoted as saying. “However, we found that in wealthy but unequal countries, physical fighting may be reduced through greater government investment in education.”

Children are more likely to be bullied in poorer countries. (Source: McGill University)

The study, the largest of its kind, found a six-fold difference in school bullying and 12-fold difference in fighting between rich and poor countries. In Africa, for example, about 50 percent of children in this age range have been a victim of bullying, compared to a 30-percent world average.

The study also found differences in the proportion of females and males involved in physical fighting: 10.7 percent of males and 2.7 percent of females had been involved in four or more fights in the 12 months prior to the study.

In just the US, fighting is twice as common in males (8.4%) than in females (3.9%). Bullying is near the international norm: 30.8% of males and 29.7% females in the US have been the target of bullying.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Voxitatis congratulates the COVID Class of 2020

2020 is unique and, for high school graduates, different from anything they've seen. Proms, spring sports, & many graduation ceremonies are cancelled. Time for something new.

Vertical addition (m3.nbt.2) math practice

3rd grade, numbers and operations in base 10, 2, 3-digit vertical addition practice problem

Rubber ducks (m3.oa.1) math practice

3rd grade, operational and algebraic thinking, 1, rubber ducky modeling practice problem

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.