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Survey methodology

For months, Marketplace journalists Caitlin Taylor and Anu Singh, along with senior data journalist Valerie Ouellet, worked with researchers and spoke to dozens of educators, police, and families to design a survey that would help measure what students are experiencing or have experienced in schools across the country.   

Here's how we did it:

This survey was undertaken by the firm Mission Research on behalf of the CBC. The approach and questions were developed by the CBC, in collaboration with two of Canada’s leading researchers/psychologists on childhood violence, Debra Pepler and Tracy Vaillancourt. Debra Pepler is a distinguished research professor of Psychology at York University and Co-Founder of PREVNet. Tracy Vaillancourt is a Canada Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention at the University of Ottawa.

Our findings derived from a total of 4,065 online surveys completed by young Canadians aged 14 to 21, between August 26 and September 6, 2019. Half of respondents (52%) were 14 to 17 year old at the time. Parental consent was mandatory for all respondents under 18.

More than half of respondents (55%) were attending high school (grades 7-12). The remaining attended a post-secondary program (35%) or were not currently in school (10%).

Data were weighted to ensure that our sample was representative of the Canadian population aged 14 to 21. Our sample had similar proportions of youths who identified as male (51%) and female (48%). The majority of students (2,750) self-identified as white/caucasian/non-visible minority, while 1,200 identified as a visible minority.  Please note that 115 respondents selected “other” or “prefer not to answer” (see background note below for more information)

The vast majority of our sample was in urban centers (87%) opposed to rural ones (13%). 40% of respondents were from Ontario, including 19% from the Greater Toronto Area. Provinces with smaller samples were regrouped as regions, such as Atlantic and Prairies. The survey was limited to Canadian provinces and did not include Northern Territories.

A corresponding probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 1.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of the methodology listed the number of students who didn’t identify as any ethnicity as 205, but it’s actually 115. Please note that this doesn’t change the overall results of the survey.