The effects of bullying can be severe. Various studies show that it can cause low self-esteem and disrupted sleep patterns. Children are sometimes ashamed of being bullied and keep incidents from their parents, which can make the problem worse. And the problem is widespread. Some data show that as many as 20% are bullied over the course of their childhoods.
There is the equivalent of a library of research on the problem. Among the most important is StopBullying.gov, a website on bullying prevention managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, bullying can have a profound and lasting impact on a child targeted with aggressive behavior by a friend or classmate. Depression and anxiety, physical ailments, and poor academic achievement often plague the bullied youngster. Many students are forced to drop out of school to escape their tormentor.
The prevalence of bullying varies throughout the United States. To determine the state with the most reported cases of bullying at school, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the share of high schoolers who were bullied on school property in 2018, the latest year for which data is available, from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Though any child, regardless of background and living situation, can be a victim of bullying, students who identify as LGBTQ, as well as children with disabilities, may be at a higher risk. State-level data for these groups was available only in a handful of states and thus were not included in our analysis.
To assess the scope of bullying among young people, the government developed the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey in 1990 to monitor health behaviors contributing markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States.
To determine the state where bullying is the biggest problem, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of high school students who were bullied on school property in the past year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey, for the 41 states with available data.
Nearly 20% of all high school students nationwide reported being bullied on school grounds. Another 15.7% said the behavior happened online. As many as 36.7% of high schoolers reported feelings of hopeless and sad, and nearly 19% contemplated suiсide.
Looking at individual states, Alaskan children suffer the most bullying, with 25.5% reporting being bullied on school property in the past year. More than 19% report online buying, the second highest percentage on the list. Alarmingly, a quarter — 25.3% — say they’ve considered suiсide, the second highest percentage of the states considered.
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