Almost a third of young people do not feel safe at school

Almost a third of young people do not feel safe at school

school safety

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A large international study showed that an average of 31.4% of young people stated that they felt insecure at school in 13 European and Asian countries. The results revealed inequalities in ensuring a safe educational environment for students in different countries.

The study included 21,688 young people aged 13–15 from 13 countries who conducted self-administered surveys between 2011 and 2017. The survey was conducted in Finland, Norway, Lithuania, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Russia. .

There were large variations between the countries, from 11.5% (Finland) to 69.8% (Japan) of the girls and from 7.7% (Norway) to 68.2% (Japan) of the boys who felt insecure. The study also found that there were large variations between schools in many countries, which indicates inequality in the educational environment within the country.

The key is to build healthy relationships between students and teachers and promote positive interactions with peers

Students who felt that their teachers cared about them were more likely to feel safe school, which indicates the important role of teachers in shaping students’ emotional sense of security in school. Fair, clear and consistent school rules are very important for creating safety in schools, according to our previous review. On the other hand, when students experience bullying violation, this was reflected in a lower sense of security.

The results showed that insecurity in school was associated with mental health problems, which can remain for life. The results highlight the need for school-based, anti-bullying initiatives and the promotion of mental health.

“Efforts should include prevention initiatives such as psychoeducation and social-emotional learning programs to improve children’s positive interaction and reduce behavioral problems. The results showed a clear need for strategies to provide educational environments where all students can feel protected, regardless of their background,” says researcher Yuko Mori from the Research Center for Child Psychiatry, University of Turku

Dr. Andre Sourander, Professor of Child Psychiatry at the University of Turku agrees: “A physically, cognitively and emotionally safe school environment is crucial for children and young people’s development and educational success. All children have the right to go to schools where they can feel safe and protected without fear or concern of any danger.In the wake of the recent school shootings, we must take steps to increase security in educational environments and protect students from all forms of violence and abuse. “

This research was led by Professor Andre Sourander from the Research Center for Child Psychiatry and the INVEST Research Flagship Center at the University of Turku.

Below is the list of countries where a percentage of young people feel insecure.

Country: Girls / Boys

Finland: 11.5% / 8.9%

Norway: 13.9% / 7.7%

Israel: 14.6% / 14.2%

Greece: 18.2% / 24.2%

India: 17.8% / 26.3%

Iran: 25.6% / 34.3%

Indonesia: 30.3% / 30.2%

Lithuania: 31.4% / 35.4%

Singapore: 35.4% / 34.3%

China: 48.8% / 44.1%

Russia: 54.7% / 45.9%

Vietnam: 49.6% / 52.6%

Japan: 69.8% / 68.2%

Countries that invest in well-being allocate resources to child and adolescent psychiatry

More information:
Yuko Mori et al, Feeling insecure at school among young people in 13 Asian and European countries: prevalence and associated factors, Boundaries in psychiatry (2022), DOI: 10.3389 / fpsyt.2022.823609.

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