Wesley Mission Report on Effects of School Bullying
8 December 2009 at 10:24 am
The Wesley Mission survey of 1200 people aged from 18-44 years also shows that some victims of school bullying are still struggling to cope with their childhood experiences and require ongoing professional support and counselling.
The report is a telling warning to those who claim that bullying is a normal part of growing up and has no long-term consequences, according to Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Keith Garner.
Rev Garner says school bullying leaves long term scars, affecting work, relationships and an ability to trust people. Being left out at school can mean exclusion in adult life.
The 95-page Wesley Report, Give kids a chance: No-one deserves to be left out, shows that low self-esteem and a lack of assertiveness, followed by aggression and difficulty in controlling anger were the most common social skills associated with school bullying.
The survey questioned victims of bullying, bullies, and those who were victims and who then became bullies themselves. The report found:
85 % of respondents said bullying had affected them in some way in adult life
69 % of respondents reported that the bullying experience had some form of negative impact on their adult life.
85 % of female victims were excluded on purpose from social group far more than their male peers (77%)
41 % of victims never seek advice or help, even though they are affected.
51 % reported feeling ashamed of their bullying actions when they were in school but 41% of respondents reported feeling that they could bully again without feeling remorse.
Pack bullying went on for longer than bullying by individuals: 34% of victims said pack bullying lasted more than a year compared to 16 per cent who said that individual bullying lasted more than a year.
Victims of pack bullying scored lower than the generally acceptable level of self-esteem than those who were bullied by individuals.
Victims of pack bullying reported being subject to high rates of emotional bullying in school: 87% reported being left out of occasional peer group activities.
Rev Garner says Wesley Mission seeks to develop stronger and more collaborative partnerships between community service providers and local schools.
He says Wesley Mission works with families or children at risk and their workers have found a link between the bullying experience at school and conflict at home: both bullies and victims struggle with self-esteem, assertiveness and anger.
The project began with an online survey about the role and experience of each respondent in schoolyard bullying and the impact of their experience in adult life. The responses were analysed against five key social skills – self-esteem, assertiveness, empathy, co-operation and anger-management – that govern an individual’s ability to handle life and relationships confidently and successfully.
Download the report at: www.wesleymission.org.au/givekidsachance