Girls' sleep patterns, weight loss, worrying and bullying : SHEU data

The report, Young People into 2013, from the Schools Health Education Unit, contains over 100 health-related behaviour questions and answers. Several questions are about sleep. This year we have continued to try and find links between questions. For example, when asked about how many hours of sleep they had ‘last night’, the more sleep 14-15 year old girls get they are less likely to: ‘want to lose weight’; worry ‘a lot’; and ‘feel afraid of going to school due to bullying.

What sort of story? Bullying, body image, or media studies?

I was contacted today by a journalist regarding a story about a young woman in the public eye who has had liposuction, and I was asked what I thought. This is based on my reply. I'm not going to link to the piece, for reasons that will become clear below.
We have some possibly relevant statistics:

Bullying: turning the curve at last?

For over 15 years, we have been asking secondary pupils across the country the same question: Do you ever feel afraid of going to school because of bullying?  The pupils are offered four responses, Very often, Often, Sometimes and Never.  The proportion saying anything other than 'Never' veries between 20% (Year 10 males) to over 30% (Year 8 females).  And it's been that way for a long while.

Homophobic bullying

Article (and namecheck) by Johann Hari:


See also:


Homophobic bullying in schools - Stonewall study

In 2006, we were asked by Stonewall, the lesbian and gay lobbying organisation, to host an online survey about homophobic bullying.
Over 1145 young people from across the UK took part in the survey.
The key findings were:

Report on bullying

In 1997 we produced a report on bullying. This is now out-of-date and your best resource now is our report Trends: Emotional Health and Well-being, which includes substantial material about bullying. You can find the most recent bullying figures in our latest Young People into... report

Trends - Emotional Health and Well-being (including Bullying)

Emotional Health & Well-being (including Bullying) 1983-2003

This report is to be updated and is currently not available for sale.

The following is a summary of the report written in 2004 by SHEU covering the period 1983-2003

When looking over the figures from twenty years, we find that young people in recent years are...

* less likely to keep problems to themselves, although around 25% of 14-15 year old males still keep family problems and problems with friends to themselves

Homophobic bullying

For some months, SHEU have been collaborating with the lobbying organisation, Stonewall on a piece of research into young people's experiences of homophobic bullying. The Stonewall survey was an opt-in survey of young people, conducted over the Internet. SHEU were pleased to be involved in this important research, although the findings were often very sobering.
In other work, we have some examples of findings about homophobic bullying from whole-population surveys in schools. For example, we have occasionally asked whether young people are being bullied for different reasons.

Overweight and bullied

We have been seeing in our primary school surveys a proportion of young people who think they are being picked on or bullied because of their size or weight. We don't usually ask this same question in the secondary surveys, but we do ask what are the pupil's height and weight, and from this we can identify overweight, obese and underweight young people.

We also ask these secondary school pupils if they are ever afraid to go to school because of bullying.

Here are some results from Year 8 males (aged 12-13y):

Bullying Update

Following Anti-Bullying Week and a news story last month about a girl being physically attacked, we have had more news stories about young people committing suicide after prolonged bullying and further reports of bullying in the armed services. These prompted us to have another look at the figures we hold about bullying: what can we tell about the effects of bullying on the victim?

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