Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Almost one-third adolescents don’t feel safe at school: Study

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In a big multinational research, 31.4 percent of teenagers in 13 European and Asian nations reported feeling unsafe at school.

The findings, which were published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, highlighted disparities in ensuring a safe educational environment for pupils in different nations. Between 2011 and 2017, 21,688 teenagers aged 13 to 15 from 13 countries completed self-administered questionnaires. Finland, Norway, Lithuania, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and Russia participated in the study.

The percentage of females who felt uncomfortable ranged from 11.5 percent in Finland to 69.8 percent in Japan, whereas the percentage of boys who felt dangerous ranged from 7.7 percent in Norway to 68.2 percent in Japan. The survey also discovered that there were significant differences across schools in several nations, demonstrating educational inequality within the country.

The aim is to foster favourable peer connections while also fostering healthy student-teacher relationships.

Kids who believed their instructors cared about them were more likely to feel comfortable at school, implying that teachers play a crucial role in creating students’ emotional sense of safety. According to our prior analysis, fair, clear, and consistent school policies are critical in ensuring school safety. When kids are bullied, they have a poorer sense of safety, which is reflected in their grades.

The findings revealed that feeling uncomfortable at school was linked to mental health issues that might last a lifetime. The findings emphasise the need of anti-bullying measures and mental health promotion in schools.

Preventive measures such as psychoeducation and social-emotional learning programmes should be included in the treatments to improve children’s good interactions and lessen behavioural difficulties. According to researcher Yuko Mori of the University of Turku’s Research Centre for Child Psychiatry, the findings revealed a clear need for initiatives to offer educational environments where all kids may feel safe, regardless of their background.

Doctor Andre Sourander, Professor in Child Psychiatry at the University of Turku agrees: “Physically, cognitively and emotionally safe school environment is essential for the development and educational success of children and young people. All children have the right to attend schools where they can feel safe and protected without fear or anxiety of any danger. In the wake of recent school shootings, we must take steps to enhance safety in educational settings and protect students from all forms of violence and abuse.

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