Young people: bullying and alcohol

A Government survey looked at over 120,000 15 year olds. The survey found that over 60 per cent of girls and 48 per cent of boys felt they had been bullied in the past few months, while girls were twice as likely to say they had experienced cyber bullying.

Anxious teens

Girls were also more likely to have experienced sexual jokes, rumours or be the subject of “inappropriate picture sending without permission”.

The research also found large differences between social groups. 70 per cent of teenagers living in the more wealthy areas reported to have consumed alcohol, compared to 50 per cent of those in the more deprived areas.

10 per cent of children had admitted to having their first drink before the age of 12, while the average age was 13.

Directory of Campaigns at Alcohol Concern, Tom Smith, said how those living in middle-class areas are more likely to drink alcohol, as their parents are more likely to introduce it to them at a young age.

Studies have found that parents are generally the main source of alcohol for young people drinking underage. He explained how many parents believe that by introducing their child to alcohol in a controlled environment, they will not develop a bad habit. However, studies suggest that the younger the person is when they start drinking, the higher the chance of developing alcohol problems later in life.

“All the evidence suggests that the safest thing for parents to do is to set clear rules and boundaries for their children about alcohol and give them an alcohol-free childhood.”

Young Minds director of campaigns, Lucie Russell said, “We have to build the capacity for all children and young people to navigate through their childhoods successfully so they can grow up healthy and happy.”

The impact of bullying on young people can be devastating. Cyber bullying can be especially torturous with the child having no escape.

The results from the survey show that more than 50 per cent of young people in England have experienced bullying in the past few months. Forms of psychological bullying appear more common than physical or cyber bullying, with 34 per cent of teenagers experiencing mean names or hurtful teasing.

A further 30 per cent 15 year olds reported experiencing fellow students spreading false rumours or telling lies about them in attempt to make them feel isolated.

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Written by Ellen Hoggard
Content Manager and Digital Editor.

Written by Ellen Hoggard

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