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'Bullied kids may consider suicide'

Posted on Feb 12, 06:40PM | IANS

Washington, Feb 12 : Children who are subjected to cyber and physical bullying may skip school and even consider suicide, says an American research.

"We should not ignore one form of bullying for the sake of the other," says Thomas Holt, associate professor of criminal justice, at the Michigan State University, who led the study.

Holt said parents should pay attention to warning signs of bullying such as mood changes, sadness, school failures, social withdrawal and a lack of appetite, the journal International Criminal Justice Review reports.

"The results suggest we should find ways to develop school policies to combat bullying within the school environment and then figure out how to translate that to the home, because the risk goes beyond the schoolyard," adds Holt, according to a Michigan statement.

Holt and colleagues, using survey data from more than 3,000 third-through 11th-grade students in Singapore, analysed the relationships between physical bullying, cyberbullying and mobile phone bullying on skipping school and suicidal thoughts.

The study, one of the first to explore bullying in southeast Asia, says that 22 percent of students who were physically bullied skipped school or thought about skipping. It echoes similar findings from the US and Canada.

Conversely, 27 percent of students who were bullied online (through e-mails, blogs and chat rooms) and 28 percent who were sent bullying text messages on a mobile phone, skipped school or thought about skipping.

Similarly, 22 percent of students who were physically bullied reported suicidal thoughts, while 28 percent of those who reported cyber bullying and 26 percent who were bullied via cell phone said they considered suicide.

In addition, females and younger students were more likely to consider suicide, which reflects other research findings.