Bullying in Hungary

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Scandinavian nations may lead the world in nobullying measures, but the central European nation of Hungary as among the lowest percentages of bullying in the world. A study that examined 11 European nations found bullying statistics show among 11-18 year old kids, bullying in Hungry is at about 10 percent. The average was 20 percent and measured the perception of having been bullied.

This study also identified key characteristics of those likely to be victims of bullying, which was the usual – younger, emotional issues, and poor social support. There is  also a “Kidscreen” program that measures the chances of becoming a victim, that has been developed in Scandinavian countries.  The statistics on bullying in Hungary show it to be one of the least likely countries where people will become victims of bullying.

Another study by the same group showed that having been bullied was the greatest predictor of whether a person would be bullied in the future.  This underscored the need for measures to prevent bullying at an early stage.  This particular study also showed that overly protective parents also play a role in the development of bullying. High school bullying is more likely if kids were exposed to it earlier

While bullying in Hungary is lower than in other countries, this central European nation still takes the issue seriously and works to keep it to a minimum. Hungarians are studying issues like why people bully and raising bulling awareness. There have been several studies into the issue over the last several decades but statistics on bullying in Hungary have been available only since about 2003. A study by Magyar Pedagogia at that time put the bullying rate at about 15 percent.

Education officials believe bullying can be controlled by a cooperative effort between teachers and school psychologists.

How to handle bullying involves having a lot of bullying information available. With that informatioin Teachers in Budapest can spot the problems, and the psychologists can help mitigate any damage the bullying in Hungary may have caused. It is believed that by having clear rules spelled out to students, close monitoring and encouraging reporting bullying, the incidence of it can be reduced.

Many believe bullying is not really about violence, though it can get to that. Usually the reason people bully is to either gain power, or to gain approval of the power they have, with their peers. The factors mentioned above can reduce the amount of bulling, education officials say. The study also found that structured play time, or recess periods, also significantly reduced the amount of bullying. This particular study also suggested more research into the role of the victim in the bullying situation. Those that are victims tend to already have some issues, such as low self esteem and nervousness. Most studies focus on why people bully, and focus efforts on how to handle it there. This study suggested more investigation into the victim’s role.

Another international study that focused on Europe, said that like most places around the world, middle school bullying, children 11-14, is the most common age. Bullying also increases as children get older. In Hungary it found there was more bullying of immigrants at this age than any other age. It seems to be common that boys are more likely to be bullies than girls. While there were no countries where there were more girl bullies than boys, in Hungary there were more girl victims than boys. This suggests that at times boys bully girls, while in most cases boy pick on other boys and girls pick on other girls.

Most bullying happens at school, in the playground, bathroom or in the hallways. Usually it happens when no teachers are around. A majority of the bullying is done in person, but Internet bullying, called cyberbullying is also a method for harassing another person. They may use social media like facebook bullying, or even the telephone. Cyberbullying laws are being considered around the world as new technology changes how things are done. Facts about cyberbullying in Hungary is hard to come by, but those who reported bullying in Hungary said they were also bullied in this way. In some countries there have been reports of teen suicide as a result of bullying, but so far that has not happened in Hungary that has been reported.

There is an anti-cyberbullying program in Hungary that offers information about how to stay safe on the Internet, and how to prevent cyberbullying. This group, called MEP, has information about being responsible digital citizens, and is part of the Foundation for a Responsible Society that was started in Budapest in 2013. The group also advocates for cyberbullying laws, as well as general bullying laws that currently do not exist in Hungary.

Bullying is something that normally continues if it is not stopped at a young age. Those who were bullies tend to continue to be bullies and those that are victims often continue to be victims into adulthood. There are cases frequently where someone who has been bullied in one context becomes a bully in another context as the opportunity arises. These are long term effects bullying can have.

A book called “Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace : International Perspectives,” says that there has been great progress made across Europe in the area of adult bullying, workplace bullying or office bullying, over the last decade or so. The report added though, there is little research at the adult level, and wide variety when it comes to methods of study and results. It seems that in Hungary there is more involvement at the primary school level, and less bullying among children. As adults there is much less supervision, and there may actually be more adult bullying in Hungary.

One report did however show that as many as 50 percent of Hungarian women are harassed sexually in the workplace at times. While it was not a comprehensive national study, in Budapest, that many women were harassed and 40 percent of the time it was the boss harassing the employee. Nearly all of the time – 90 percent – this was verbal bullying, and only 10 percent was physical.

The report noted there is no legal definition of sexual harassment in Hungary, and no laws about bullying in the workplace, making it very hard to press charges or take legal action. Often the harassed person just quits the job.

Sibling bullying is also an issue that is getting more research. One study suggests it is just as bad, if not worse, than classmate bullying in school. It can be worse among siblings in that it is easier to hide from parents. Some have said sibling bullying is just a normal part of growing up and helps children learn how to handle aggressive behavior, but bullying can still result in poorer mental health if not treated and overcome.

There are also efforts to increase harmony in Hungary, and to fight against hate and bullying. A relatively new organization called “Not in Our Town” was started in Szombathely, Hungary. While their major concern is hate and anti-semitism, bullying also plays a big role in their activities. This group shows videos and encourages people to take on “tolerance projects” which can include nobullying programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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