Monday, January 28, 2013

Study Shows Middle School Bullies are mostly the very popular kids

I found this eye opening article on  The article states that a UCLA psychology study determined that, "it's the cool kids" who bully. Researchers discovered after surveying 1,895 seventh and eight graders in 11 Los Angeles middle schools that the coolest kids were often named most aggressive and those who were named the most aggressive were thought of as the coolest kids. The kids were surveyed at three different points during the seventh and eight grade and it was the ones who started rumours and instigated fights that were considered the most popular. The bullying that was considered to be related to the coolest and most popular kids were that of both emotional and physical bullying.

Janna Juvonen  UCLA professor of psychology and lead author of the study stated, "the impetus for the study was to figure out whether aggression promotes social status or whether those who are received as popular abuse their social power and prestige by putting other kids down.  "We found it worked both ways for both male-typed and female typed forms of aggression. Juvonen states that in order to be effective, the anti bullying programs need to focus on the bystanders.  The message bullying is not tolerated is not likely to be effective. Taking a way a bully's social status or not rewarding the bullying for his or her actions might help in deterring some of the bully's aggressive behavior


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