Background: The suicide statistics (circumstances：bullying) published by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) are reflective of the situations in which victims are placed and do not provide data on suicide resulting from bullying.
Objective: This study aims to confirm the results of an investigation by the third-party investigation committee from newspaper reports. By supplementing the information obtained, the goal is for the MEXT's suicide statistics (on bullying issues) to become the “recognition of bullying” suicide statistics. Furthermore, by collecting data from newspaper reports (e.g., gender, grade, month, and day of the week), this study intends to quantitatively analyze the information available on suicide resulting from bullying. Lastly, this study aims to obtain explicit knowledge to help prevent suicides resulting from bullying.
Methods: The data for this study consists of online newspaper reports over a period of 8 years, 2012-2020.
The subjects of analysis were Japanese elementary, junior high, and high school students. First, the statistics obtained by the study on the number of suicides resulting from bullying were compared by year with MEXT's statistics. The statistics were then tabulated on gender and grade of students; the semester, month, and day of the week when the bullying-related suicide took place; and the time taken for bullying certification by the third-party investigation committee. Chi-square tests were conducted to analyze the presence or absence of bullying vis-à-vis the sexes/grades of the students. An adjusted residual analysis was conducted as a post hoc test in the case of a significant result of the chi-square test.
Results: The results of the tally of 72 cases of suicide due to bullying are as follows. In junior high and high school, male students outnumber female students with more cases of suicide due to bullying occurring in the second year. In terms of month, July displayed the highest number of cases (12 cases). Moreover, the majority of cases (16 cases) occurred on Wednesdays. The results of the chi-square test indicated a significant difference in suicides resulting from bullying across the grades of junior high school students (p<0.005). However, results obtained from the adjusted residual analysis indicated significantly less incidences of suicide resulting from bullying among third graders in junior high school (p<0.01).
Conclusion: This study was able to provide a concrete analysis of the reality of suicides resulting from bullying and the results can be presented in explanatory text or graphs as explicit knowledge.