Bullying and anxiety frequent among UK teens

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Teenagers in the UK are more likely to be bullied and are more anxious than those in other parts of the world, according to a recent survey.

A global survey of 15-year-olds, carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), found that despite an average life satisfaction score of seven out of 10, UK 15-year-olds are more often victims of bullying than teenagers in other parts of the world.

Almost a quarter of teenagers said they experienced acts of bullying at least a few times a month, and around 15% said they were made fun of by others. Physical abuse such as being hit or pushed was reported by around 5% of participants.

The survey also revealed that anxiety is a problem among UK teenagers, with 72% of UK respondents saying they feel anxious before taking a test.

Rates of bullying and anxiety in the UK were among the highest reported in the survey. On average across OECD countries, about 11% of teenagers said they were frequently made fun of and 55% reported feeling anxious before a test.

These findings will likely add to concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of young British people, particularly among individuals from less privileged families who reported higher rates of bullying and unhappiness than those from wealthier backgrounds.

Internet usage of more than six hours on weekdays outside of school was found to be associated with lowers levels of life satisfaction and more loneliness at school. In contrast, teenagers who reported having good relationships with their parents and teachers were happier with their lives and more likely to excel academically.