Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

47% of 14-year-olds 'are bullied'

Bullied boy - posed by actor
Boys were more likely to face physical intimidation than girls

Nearly half of 14-year-olds in England have experienced some sort of bullying, a study of 10,000 teenagers for the government suggests.

Name calling and cyberbullying - where the victim faces threats and insults via mobile phones and the internet - were the most common forms.

After these came being threatened with violence, being excluded by friends and facing real violence.

The study did not say if the bullying had taken place once or more often.

According to the long-term study for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, some 47% of 14-year-olds reported bullying. This dropped to 41% among 15-year-olds and 29% of 16-year-olds.

'Left out'

The most common type was name calling and cyberbullying, while the least common was being forced to hand over money or possessions.

Those with a disability were more likely to face name calling and to be excluded from friendship groups than those without.

Children with special educational needs, caring responsibilities or those having to spend some time in care were also more likely to be bullying victims.

Overall girls were more likely to be bullied than boys at the age of 14 and 15.

They were also more likely to face name calling and be excluded from friendship groups.

Boys were more likely to have their money and possessions taken and to face violence.

Those bullied at 14 and 15 had significantly lower results at GCSE - equivalent to two grades lower.

'Tell your parents'

And bullying victims were also more likely to be "Neets" - not in education, employment or training.

But interestingly the research found that those whose parents reported bullying were less likely to face it in the future.

Young people who told their parents at 14 were almost twice as likely not to remain being bullied at 16 than those who did not.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls called on parents to always report incidents of bullying to their child's school.

The research is being published to coincide with the launch theme of this year's Anti-Bullying Week, which begins on November 16.

The theme - tackling cyberbullying - uses the slogan "Stay Safe in Cyberspace".

On this issue, Mr Balls said: "Mobile phones or computer screens can be used to taunt and bully young people, which can have devastating consequences.

"I want parents to feel confident coming forward and reporting bullying incidents to schools, as we know this helps to stop bullying continuing."

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