Three out of 10 adolescents in Taiwan have experienced bullying, either as victims or witnesses, with verbal and physical bullying being the most common, a survey conducted by the Taiwan International Association for Advancement of Children Rights has found.
A total of 30.58 percent of respondents — comprising junior and senior-high school students — said they have either been the victims of bullying or have seen or heard people around them being bullied.
The types of bullying were verbal bullying (86.3 percent), physical bullying (70.8 percent), relational bullying (67 percent), cyberbullying (18 percent) and sexual bullying (13.6 percent), the survey found.
When asked about the possible cause of bullying, respondents attributed 59 percent of the cases to the victim’s personality, 49.5 percent to physical appearance and 27 percent to personal hygiene.
The survey found that 13 percent of the respondents were victims of bullying, which resulted in polarized reactions, said Chang An-tzu (張安慈), a consultant at the association.
Some of the victims changed their attitudes in an attempt to fit in, but others became depressed and were reluctant or afraid to make friends, Chang said.
Bullied adolescents might refuse to attend school, injure themselves deliberately, have nightmares or even lash out when they think they are about to be bullied, Chang said.
Judging from the reasons cited for bullying, adolescent people’s character, including their ability to make friends, and their self-image and sense of worth, can be improved, Chang said.
Efforts to prevent bullying should be improved, because as many as 70 percent of adolescents ignore, choose not to get involved or do not know what to do when they witness bullying, Chang said.
The survey was conducted last month and collected 1,205 valid samples.
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