The PIN 2 study

The PIN study is about mental health, the internet, and cyberbullying among young people
In 2017, we conducted a comprehensive study among Northern Norwegian secondary school students (8th, 9th, and 10th grade) about mental health and welfare in relation to bullying, cyberbullying, internet addiction, and internet use. A total of 2,055 young people from 72 schools participated. We are now planning a new study carried out at the same schools during winter 2023.

The study aim of PIN-2 is divided into three parts:

1.  We want to learn more about how the corona pandemic has affected young people's mental health, the occurrence of bullying and cyberbullying and the students' perceived safety of teachers and schools. The study that was carried out in 2017 can be compared with how young people experience their situation now in the aftermath of the corona pandemic and how young people experienced this previously.

2.  In February 2022, Russia went to war in Ukraine. This is how hostilities came closer to Norway than had been the case before. We therefore want to learn more about what young people think about this and whether this has led to an increased fear of war among Norwegian young people.

3.  We also want to know more about how young people experience the changes in climate and whether this leads to "climate anxiety" among them.

What has been done before?

All secondary school students in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark were invited to participate in the study in 2017. This resulted in 37 school and municipality reports, three county-wise reports from Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, and a combined report for Northern Norway. In short, 2% reported daily bullying and 1% reported daily cyberbullying. In addition, 4% stated that they never felt safe at school and 6% that the teachers do not care about them (for more findings see reports).

In addition, we have published three articles based on information from the northern Norwegian adolescents. Here we saw that 13% had experienced online bullying and that girls reported greater mental problems when they were exposed to such bullying (link to study). In another study, we saw that just under 10% had applied for help due to bullying/cyberbullying. There were several conditions that caused young people to seek help, but in relation to bullying it was particularly threats of spreading rumors that triggered the search for help (link to study). We also saw that approximately 6% of young people neither felt safe at school nor that teachers cared about them (link to study). This was related to having been exposed to bullying/cyberbullying and major psychosocial difficulties. In the most recent publication we found among others that the odds of beng victimized from bullying or cyberbullying decreased the more the adolescents perceived the SES of the familiy as good (link to study).

The follow-up study (PIN 2)

In the planned follow-up, priority will primarily be given to young people who are now students at the 72 schools in order to be able to make meaningful comparisons from the time before and after the corona pandemic. The pupils will anonymously answer an electronic questionnaire during ordinary school hours. Completing the form takes approx. 10 minutes.

The study is also part of a larger international study. In 2017, a total of 21,688 young people from 13 nations participated. The countries that participated were Japan, Greece, China, India, Finland, Singapore, Vietnam, Israel, Iran, Lithuania, Russia, Indonesia and Norway. These countries will also participate in the mapping of young people's experience after the corona pandemic.

The comparisons between the various participating countries have led to two publications. One article showed that the incidence of bullying and cyberbullying was lower in Norway than was the case for other countries such as Iran, Russia, and Indonesia (link to study). In this study, it emerged that in countries with preventive interventions against bullying and a stated policy to actively oppose bullying (countries such as Norway and Finland) had a significantly lower incidence than countries without such measures. Another study looked at safety at school. In sum, it was seen that 32% of the young people never/rarely felt safe at school, while there were fewer Norwegian school pupils, a total of 14% of the young people, who stated the same (link to the study).

In addition, further ten countries will participate in the extension of the study on the experiences of climate change and fear of war. These countries are: Argentina, Azerbaijan, France, Iceland, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda.