Middle school bullies are the cool kids

Bullies who pick fights or spread nasty rumors are the “cool” kids in middle school, according to psychologists who surveyed seventh and eighth graders in Los Angeles, reports Live Science.

“The ones who are cool bully more, and the ones who bully more are seen as cool,” study researcher Jaana Juvonen, a UCLA professor of psychology, said in a statement.

The study is published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Anti-bullying campaigns should focus on persuading bystanders to show they disapprove of bullying, advised Juvenon.

Bullies often target unpopular children who are less likely to be defended by onlookers, notes Live Science.

Via Education News.

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  1. GoogleMaster says:

    Did we pay actual money for this study with its breathtakingly obvious results?

  2. Ted Craig says:

    I believe this was covered by Judy Blume in “Blubber” about 40 years ago.

  3. You all beat me to the “No Duh!”

  4. I have read and heard, from a number of parents, that mainstreaming has made the problem worse, as the mainstreamed kids are often targets. A number of parents have chosen to homeschool, for that reason. The relentlessly social-emotional focus in schools is a real problem for kids on the ASD and for many ADHD kids.

  5. The worst thing of it is, usually the TEACHERS side with the cool kids as well… Because of course that nerdy kid with the book and no fashion sense is asking to be poked with compasses until she bleeds…… So I think the ‘educational trope’ that only outcast kids act as bullies is, in part, a way for teachers to avoid having to recognize and deal with the bullying commited by the cool, cruel kids who are also beloved by the teacher….

  6. It’s also possible, particularly at ES-MS levels, that the teachers were themselves the cool, cruel kids.