School bullies have high self-esteem, says a UCLA study of Los Angeles schools. It’s their victims who are depressed, anxious and lonely.
Bullies, seven percent of the students, are psychologically strong.
“Bullies are popular and respected: they are considered the ‘cool’ kids,” said Jaana Juvonen, UCLA professor of psychology, and lead author of “Bullying Among Young Adolescents: The Strong, the Weak and the Troubled,” published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics. “They don’t show signs of depression or social anxiety and they don’t feel lonely.
Victims make up about nine percent of students, researchers said. They’re the ones who could use an ego boost.
“Young teens who are victims of bullying are often emotionally distressed and socially marginalized,” said Juvonen, who also works as a consultant to Los Angeles elementary schools on developing anti-bullying programs. “Many of the victims are disengaged in school.”
About six percent of students are both bullies and victims. They’re the most troubled and the least popular group.