School bullying increases migration intentions in all communities in Iceland

Þóroddur Bjarnason among researchers in a new study
School bullying increases migration intentions in all communities in Iceland

A new research by faculty at the University of Akureyri, the University of Iceland and the University of Groningen in collaboration the the Icelandic Regional Development Institute demonstrates that adolescents who are bullied in school are twice as likely as others to plan to migrate within Iceland or abroad. These effects are independent of other factors that predict migration intentions, such as gender, language at home, school performance and relations with friends and family.

The research specifically examined if these effects were stronger in rural Iceland where there is frequently less social distance and perhaps more difficult for victims to avoid bullies in daily life outside of school. Adolescents in sparsely populated areas and in the exurban regions surrounding the Reykjavík capital area are generally more likely to expect to move domestically but less likely to expect to move abroad, but there is no significant difference between adolescents in Akureyri and the Reykjavík capital area in this respect. However, the association between bullying and migration intentions is equally strong in all types of settlements.

The article was published in the international scientific journal Population, Space and place, and a reprint can be requested at

Source: Thorooddur Bjarnason, Tialda Haartsen, Arsaell M. Arnarsson and Vanda Sigurgeirsdottir. 2021. The impact of school bullying on adolescent migration intentions. Population, Space and Place, 10.1002/psp.2422.