Bullying experts call for national strategy
Researchers and community partners will unveil new tools and information for front-line workers at Canada’s foremost bullying prevention conference on Tuesday, June 19.
“Canada needs a coordinated national strategy for preventing bullying, similar to other international countries,” says Wendy Craig, a professor of psychology at Queen’s University and scientific co-director of Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet). “It is time to bridge the practice research gap and ensure that those who work with children and youth have the most up-to-date research and tools to help prevent bullying. Moving research into practice has the potential to make a difference in communities across the country.”
Canada has the sixth highest rate of bullying out of 38 countries for 11-year-old girls, according to new data from the Health behavior Survey of Children, a study in collaboration with the World Health Organization that Dr. Craig was involved in. In Canada 17percent of 11-year-old girls report being bullied at least twice in the past couple of months.
Unlike the U.S. or other European countries such as Sweden, which has a low rate of bullying (4 percent of 11-year-old girls), Canada has no well-coordinated strategy to prevent bullying.
“Canada does really well on reading and math, but we do poorly on the quality of children and youths’ relationships,” says Debra Pepler, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University, Adjunct Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and scientific co-director of PREVNet.