Secondary school students are the most vulnerable to emotional abuse, particularly verbal bullying, according to a survey published by China Youth Daily Thursday.
A total of 86 percent of respondents said emotional abuse existed in school while 15.8 percent regarded it as a common problem.
Students in secondary schools are more vulnerable to irony, taunts and mockery, among other emotional abuse, than those at different stages of study, it said.
The phenomenon was attributed to the nature of children's psychological development, by Ma Zehui, a high school teacher from Baoding city in Hebei Province.
"Secondary and high school students who are not fully psychologically mature are easier to react to external stimulus, combined with ratcheting study pressure," Ma said.
According to the survey, 62.1 percent of the nearly 2,000 respondents believe the rise in school emotional abuse stems from the rise in individualism in recent years.
Other reasons for school abuse include a lack of family education and the one-child policy, which was adopted in the past few decades and abolished in early 2016, the survey said.