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Study shows alarming rate of bullying among L. American students

08-04-2011 15:27 BJT

SANTIAGO, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- An alarming number of sixth-graders from 16 countries in Latin America said they have been robbed, insulted or beaten by other students, a study published Wednesday found.

The most common aggression was robbery with 39.4 percent of cases reported, followed by verbal abuse with 26.6 percent and physical violence with 16.5 percent, said the study published by the magazine of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), a regional commission of the United Nations.

"Violence among students is a severe problem in Latin America," said Marcela Roman and Javier Murillo, authors of the Second Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (SERCE).

Students who suffer bullying perform less well in reading and math, compared to those who aren't bullied, the study said.

Roman and Murillo used a four-level model (student, class, school and country) when processing the regional data, and a three-level model (student, class and school) when studying each country's situation.

They analyzed 2,969 schools, 3,903 classes, and 91,223 sixth-graders from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay.

More than half of the sixth-graders in Colombia said that they were victims of some type of robbery last month, while in Cuba only one in ten students suffered this kind of violence.

Argentina showed the highest numbers of insults or threats among students.

Behind Argentina were Peru, Costa Rica and Uruguay, where more than 30 percent of students said they have been verbally abused by others.

Physical violence among students was the highest in these five countries: Argentina (23.5 percent), Ecuador (21.9 percent), the Dominican Republic (21.8 percent), Costa Rica (21.2 percent), and Nicaragua (21.2 percent).

Cuba had the lowest percentage of students who reported physical violence, with only 4.4 percent.

Bullying among students is a bigger problem in Latin America's schools than in other regions, Roman and Murillo said, citing studies conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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