More youngsters turn to friends or stay silent than seek help from their families when they are upset or the victims of bullying, a survey has found. About 58 per cent said they would talk to no one when they are angry about something or someone, while 42 per cent said they would talk to someone. Of those in the second group, 80 per cent would choose friends or schoolmates to talk to. The rest would talk to their families. When being bullied, about 40 per cent would try to ignore it. About one in three would talk to somebody, while about the same number would resort to violence. Of those who would talk to someone, 74 per cent would approach friends or schoolmates, while the rest preferred families. The survey, conducted by Against Child Abuse between October and December, involved interviewing 1,444 students in Form One to Form Seven from seven Tuen Mun schools. The group's director, Priscilla Lui Tsang Sun-kai, warned that the gulf separating parents and children was a cause for concern. She pointed to findings in the same survey that 2.3 per cent, or 33 youngsters, said they had physically fought with their parents in the previous six months, and 6.9 per cent, or 100, had fought with their friends. 'We are concerned and want to study the problem of fighting. We usually would blame the child for beating their parents. But what led to it, we have to find out,' Mrs Lui said. Adolescents, when pushed to the limit, would resort to violence, she said. 'They will throw things or sweep things down from tables. Some push their parents,' she said, referring to cases she had handled. The study also discovered 57 of the children had seen their parents physically fighting, and 406 had witnessed parental quarrels. A total of 195 youngsters had suffered corporal punishment by their parents, while 139 had quarrelled with their parents. Some 276 had fought with their siblings. Five per cent said clashes with family members happened 'often'. 'These findings show that Hong Kong families' unity and harmony has been going backwards,' Mrs Lui said. 'It may be due to increased divorce rates and spousal and child abuse in local families.' She said she was worried about the effects of violence on young children. 'Some have lost their appetite and some can't sleep and even have nightmares,' Mrs Lui said. 'In other countries, teenagers often move away from their parents. In Hong Kong, they live together and there are more chances for clashes.' The number of reports of child abuse increased from 622 in 2004 to 763 in 2005. Mrs Lui suggested the government set up parenting education for new mothers to improve their skills. She said parents should talk more with their children to improve understanding and show their support. 'When parents are angry, it is better to wait until you are calm,' Mrs Lui said. 'Though adolescents can talk to their friends, they still need a lot of support from parents.'