OTTAWA - The majority of adolescent Canadian youth say they are bullied, according to a new national study unrolled Wednesday focusing on mental health.
The study, completed for the Public Health Agency of Canada, involved the work of several health professionals and researchers. The group surveyed 26,078 young Canadians aged 11 to 15 from 436 participating schools.
The survey found 63% of adolescents across all grade levels polled said they are victims of bullying.
The study, entitled The Health of Canada's Youth: A Focus On Mental Health, also indicates girls tend to report poor emotional wellbeing more frequently, while boys tend to have more behavioural problems as a result of mental health issues.
Its main author, Dr. John Freeman, an associate professor of education and director of Queen's University's Social Program Evaluation Group, says the research affirms there is a strong link between mental health and positive relationships.
"Students who report stronger connections with their parents, their teachers, their peers tend to have better mental health outcomes. It is very consistent," Freeman said. "I think that it is really important - that we look at how much we are sustaining and supporting relationships among adolescents."
The report found most young people spend their free time watching TV, playing video games or surfing the web, but most fail to be physically active on a regular basis.
More boys surveyed saw their body as too thin, while more girls believe their body is too fat.
Among young participants, 40% of boys and 37% of girls also reported using cannabis at least once.
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