RCH National Child Health Poll

The RCH National Child Health Poll is a quarterly, national survey of Australian households shedding new light on the big issues in contemporary child and adolescent health as told by Australian parents. The most recent survey for 2018 focused on understanding parent’s knowledge, attitudes and experiences related to bullying and their child.

This year’s findings highlight:

  • 1 in 5 parents had a child experience bullying in the last school term.
  • 1 in 4 parents feeling powerless in helping their child address the problem.
  • Over half of parents can’t tell if their child was being cyberbullied.

This demonstrated the need to ensure that parents have a good understanding of what bullying is and the serious effects it has upon their children’s and adolescent’s health and wellbeing.

The poll’s findings showed that verbal bullying continues to be the most common form of bullying at 78%, followed closely by social bullying (56%), physical bullying (49%) and online/ cyberbullying (30%). In terms of adolescents and their parent’s discussions around bullying, 44% tell their parents if they’re being bullied and 43% report any witnessed incidents which occurred mainly at school or via social media.

Overall, the role that parents play in aiding the prevention of bullying and supporting their children is vital in order to maintain healthy social relationships and interactions with their peers.

Interested to find out more? You can read the report here.

Verbal bullying – such as name calling, teasing, insults and intimidation
Physical bullying – such as hitting, kicking, tripping
Social bullying – such as lying and spreading rumours, purposeful exclusion
Online or cyberbullying – such as sharing or sending abusive or hurtful texts or images, imitating other online or deliberate exclusion online

The Centre’s Professor George Patton and Dr Lisa Mundy are proud to have contributed to the National Child Health Poll. Both were involved with the initial planning, designing of the questionnaire, interpretation of the results and commenting on the final report. At the Centre for Adolescent Health we collect data on this important issue in a number of our studies in order to understand what might be the modifiable risks and what is protective for young people.


CAH bullying publications 

  • Bayer JK, Mundy L, Stokes I, Hearps S, Allen N, Patton G. Bullying, mental health and friendship in Australian primary school children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2018
  • Hemphill S, Kotevski A, Heerde J. Longitudinal associations between cyber-bullying perpetration and victimization and problem behavior and mental health problems in young Australians. Int J Public Health 2015; 60(2): 227-37.
  • Hemphill SA, Tollit M, Kotevski A, Heerde JA. Predictors of Traditional and Cyber-Bullying Victimization: A Longitudinal Study of Australian Secondary School Students. J Interpers Violence 2015; 30(15): 2567-90.
  • Hemphill SA, Heerde JA. Adolescent predictors of young adult cyberbullying perpetration and victimization among Australian youth. Journal of Adolescent Health 2014; 55(4): 580-7
  • Hemphill SA, Tollit M, Herrenkohl TI. Protective factors against the impact of school bullying perpetration and victimisation on young adult internalising and externalising problems. Journal of School Violence 2014; 13(1): 125-45.
  • Vassallo S, Edwards B, Renda J, Olsson CA. Bullying in early adolescence and anti-social behavior and depression six years later: What are the protective factors? Journal of School Violence 2014; 13(1): 100-24.
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