home
RSS
Kids and aggression: Popularity matters
February 8th, 2011
12:00 AM ET

Kids and aggression: Popularity matters

Bullying is all too common, with studies showing as many as 160,000 students skip school every weekday to avoid the torment, the National Education Association has found.

Now there's research suggesting that aggression increases with peer status, meaning popular kids are the ones who are tormenting others. But here's the twist: Those who are most popular, at the top of the social hierarchy, are the least aggressive.

"They have much more to gain by being nice when they’re up at that level than by being cruel," theorized lead author Robert Faris, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis. Alternatively, it could be that the most popular kids are "simply different and incredibly nice people."

The study, appearing in the journal American Sociological Review, also found that kids who are the least popular are also among the least likely to torment others.

Researchers used data from nearly 4,000 ninth- and 10th-graders who participated in The Context of Adolescent Substance Use study, which is a long-term project that surveyed students in three counties in North Carolina in public schools. This new study on popularity and aggression followed the kids for the 2004 to 2005 school year. A limitation is that the authors did not interview the participants to get further context about the students' thoughts and feelings.

The research looked at physical, verbal and indirect aggression, which includes spreading rumors or ostracizing others. Study authors asked participants to name everyone they had been mean to, and everyone who had picked on them. They also had to state the nature of the unkindness, whether it be physical violence or name-calling or gossiping.

It appears that it didn't matter what kind of aggression was involved -  the popular (but not most popular) kids are more likely to be perpetrators, and it gets worse as you climb the social ladder (until you hit the highest rung).

"We can conclude that rates of aggression generally increase as kids gain status," Faris said.

At the core of bullying is a relationship issue, said Michele Borba, author of "The Big Book of Parenting Solutions," who was not involved in the study. Kids are craving to fit in and be included, but don't know how. Those at the second tier of popularity don't have a platform of security, and use bullying as a way of gaining influence.

Researchers do not know whether young people see their aggression as a means to an end, but this is one theory the results support.

Given that the kids who are picking on one another  are getting influence from others, an appropriate intervention would be to focus on the kids who aren't involved in aggressive behavior, Faris said

"If you target the bystanders that might have stronger effects on school climate than focusing on particular bullies and victims," he said.

It's crucial to create a school culture where bullying is not acceptable, Borba agreed.

Promoting that attitude to the bystanders will help undermine the power of the kid trying to be the bully, she said.


soundoff (355 Responses)
  1. Sarah Dougherty

    whuuhhh?

    February 8, 2011 at 07:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      Hey, it's not funny to be bullied by some little brats. When all you do is want to belong and some A hole kids push you around all the time you get like me. I don't remember most of my high school and Jr high because I never had friends because I never fit in with any crowds. I only ever wore jeans and tee shirts. I never got to sit at the tables with the others. I didn't belong anywhere. I can only feel bad for the parents that find out it's their kids being the bullies and sometimes I don't even feel sorry for the parents because they CAUSED it.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:21 | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. MC

      I could have told 'em this years ago; any kid could have. I spent all of my grade school and junior high years being bullied; I was one of those kids who skipped school to get away from the crap. In eighth grade, I happened one day to say something nasty to another unpopular kid...

      ...and suddenly my tormentors wanted to be my friends. For about a month, they stopped calling me names and throwing things at me, I assume because I now acted like them and therefore "fit it." Fortunately, I realized that what I was doing was wrong, stopped, and went back to being ostracized.

      NOTHING is going to stop bullying. People are foul creatures; kids are the foulest of all. The best you can hope for is to teach the victims better ways of dealing with it so that they do not either adopt the aggressors' ways or end up like me, 33 years old and still a victim of bullying.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Hey Briar – why don't crawl back under whatever rock you crawled out from under?

      February 8, 2011 at 09:23 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      the popular kids are @ssholes? Wow...who could have imagined?

      February 8, 2011 at 09:26 | Report abuse |
    • Erika

      For all you kids being bullied by the "popular" kids now, I know it's hard to deal with and every day is miserable but trust me...it will get better. AND the great news is that in 10-15 years so many of those "popular" kids will have lame careers, be bald and overweight or divorced and alcoholics. You on the other hand will be a fine human being and have much success because you have learned how to manage difficult situations and stay strong under pressure.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
    • Slater

      I was the highest ranking popular kid...i didnt pick on anyone and was nice, but all my popular friends picked on people, and i just sat back and laughed cuz it was kinda funny at the time...

      February 8, 2011 at 09:41 | Report abuse |
    • Briar

      Mom, John's bullying me.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Did we really need a study to tell us this?

      February 8, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jorge Lopez

      Ha hahaha... is that new? ... it's happening for zillions of years, haven't those scientifics watched "Cave man" with Ringo Star? ... I mean... it's laughable they came out with that conclusion.. everyone knows it.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • Ecoherbalism

      If your kid is being bullied and crying or worried about it then you are a CRAPPY parent. PARENTS are the problem for not mentally preparing there kid from something as simple as a bully. END OF STORY

      February 8, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • john

      I dont like the concept of bullying. Let me be perfectly clear on that. In saying that I believe bullying is normal and natural and the idea of eliminating bullying is wrong. Most other animals establish dominance heirarchies within peer groups.
      Humans do the same. This is what determines who has breeding rights. It also causes people lower on the heirachy to struggle, which teaches them to overcome. People are obsessed with protecting their children, this is of course the primary purpose of parents, but what people don't realize is that by not exposing them to some pain they are doing these children a huge disservice and not letting them develop. People get very emotional about this subject and because technology has changes the entire concept. Instant information, videos and ideas going viral. This is what we have to combat. To be perfectly honest I fear it will be a losing battle.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      I was that kid who, for no reason what-so-ever was TORTURED. Those kids ruined my childhood and the school sat back and said "Kids will be kids." Now, in my late twenties, I am a lawyer with a nice car, happy life, and a personal trainer...far away from that town. And when I go back and happen to run into one of those old classmates, for some reason they all treat me like gold. Funny. I'm always very nice to them, but inside, I laugh that the snobbiest ones are now knocked up and making minimum wage. I hope it gets really cold in their double-wides when the wind blows. Bitter? Damn straight I'm bitter.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt4cjUOpn Everyone should watch this movie!!

      February 8, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer M

      Ecoherbalism: If your kid is a bully, you are raising a foul and selfish little brat who needs his butt whooped. And so do you. END OF STORY.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • :(

      I dropped out of school cause of bullies. Hit my growth spurt now some of them want to be friends. NO. True cowards now show themselves. I have been in many fights always with a bigger person. Bullies who are actually cowards usually fight the smaller person.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      I bet parents wouldn't say bullying is no big deal if everytime their kid bullied someone, the bullied kids parents beat the crap out of them. I think that should be the new standard, your kid hits mine, I hit you. You send my kid to the hospital, I send you to the hospital. Sounds fair, hmm, bullying not sounding so funny now is it?

      February 8, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
    • maxwell

      white trash slaps second graders. he's lucky he's not locked up

      February 8, 2011 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      In response to john (not John) – I suppose an argument could be made for the a survival of the fittest mentality, but I believe it is this mentality that has shaped us into the state we are in today. A I don't think it's such a great state. Look around you. That mentality worked when survival depended on holding a place in the community. In caveman days, you either survived or perished. Even in clan communities that came later, banishment from the clan meant being outcast, and certain death. Where was there to go?. The ultimate fear wasn't not being liked, it was death. Look at a pack of wolves to see this in action. Those that don't adhere to a strict hierarchy (alpha dog) end up being banished, and ultimately dying. This fear of death is built into our DNA today. We are so afraid of not fitting in and not being successful. Why? Because our survival depends on it. Or....maybe not. Maybe we have evolved to a global culture where the world is really flat. I think today, this survival of the fittest mentality will only lead to more chaos and war. We are capable of thinking and feeling beyond our ancestors. I think it is a new era, and in this era, it will be survival of those who are capable of collaborating and contributing towards a vision of a common good. If we don't shift this mentality, we will end up destroying ourselves. But hey, that's just me.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
    • moderate1234

      Most of the bullies in my school were the jocks. For some reason, kids that are into sports are the biggest bullies. They weren't always the most popular kids. The heavy metal kids mostly kept to themselves, and girls tended to bully each other with the usual emotional/verbal stuff. In my school, the popular kids were snooty, but not necessary bullies.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Donna Bando

      Slater so why was that funny ?

      February 8, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • jean paul

      you're living a fantasy if you just you'll make out ok and you're bully is just going to be a big loser. people will live their own lives regardless of how much hurt they've pain felt or caused growing up. you have to overcome it yourself.

      from my own personal experiences, the true bullies in life don't crash and burn. they know how to kiss ass all the way to the top. they become the next socialites, managers, supervisors, lawyers, CEOs of the generation. the victim's suffer insecurity and depression, drop out of high school/college, pick up addictions, and work a meager existence under the more successful and popular individuals who knew how to force their way up.

      so wake up! we're ALL "victims" and "bullies" at some point in our lives, though we hate to admit. there is no normal person among us who isn't a self-centered pig in some respect. the victim's will attempt to better themselves at the cost of others and every bully will be forced to face his inadequacies someday. what we need to do is learn empathy and true respect for the fellow man if we ever hope to break out of this BS high school cycle

      February 8, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I was a victim from 6th grade until I graduated. All of my friends from grade school who were in the popular crowd bullied me. I was taught not to fight and I still live by that rule. No one, no one deserves to be bullied and the parents of the bullies are just as responsible as their children. Shame on parents as well as their bully children. Shame on my mother, too. When I told her about being bullied everyday, she did nothing about it and did not even want to talk about it with me. I eventurally had to go to a school counselor. The counselor could 'hardly believe such good kids were bullies'. Shame on my school counselor. I did everything I could think of at the time and nobody seemed to care. I hope we have a national conversation and action plan to stop this behavior in our schools. No one deserves to be bullied. Thank you.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • Lily

      In other news. Fish Swim and Birds fly.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • Sparky

      I'm pretty shocked that so many people on this thread are under the assumption that kids are better of being bullied; it helps build character, animals in the wild do it and so do humans.....and all of the other ignorant comments being stated. I guess my response would be this;

      If your son/daughter is bullying at their school or community and the student being bullied takes a .45 and blows your kid away.....BRAVO, I support it! Why, because in the "hierarchy" of animals, the monkey with the largest brain and greatest thinking capacity will use the most lethal weapon to achieve the hierarchy. So that means that your special child got blown away because he/she wasn't smart enough to maintain their hierarchy and therefore should have been removed from the gene pool.

      The student who just blew your kid away....well I guess now that he/she has gotten rid of the immediate threat to their hierarchy, they will build great self-esteem and go on to lead productive lives. This argument is as dumb as all of the arguments for bulling to take place in our schools and community! Every school shooting has been linked to bullying. Students cannot learn in the proper environment if they are in constant fear of being bullied or verbally and mentally abused. No one has the right to interfere with another person’s education. As a teacher, I'm sick of parents who believe that their kids are so perfect that any decision they make must be correct because after all "I the parent, raised my little angel!" It is possible to teach kids to be strong and compassionate to one another at the same time. You just have to get off your lazy (expletive) and work with them.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • jinxgt

      Why do people over react to bullying so much? Its not bullys, its kids developing such a weak sense of self esteem. I was bullied in my early years, I didn't care then and don't care now and even friends with former bullies. I had enough common sense to know that the kid pranked others for his social acceptance and I was cool enough to laugh it off. Eventually, bullies stopped bothering me because they didn't get under my skin. Parents need to teach their kids to toughen up, because there are still bullies as adults. Can't always run from problems, they need to learn how to deal with these situations maturely.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      OMG, CNN. Thanks for filling me in with this info. I've wondered this all my life. Wow, incredible writing.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • wendy

      what a break though! popular kids are bullies to the less than popular, who knew! i think the study could have saved some money and just watched "revenge of the nerds" and came to the same conclusion.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • Razi

      I am not so sure about the conclusion of targeting bystanders with the education. With bullying in school there are very few bystandards. One attacks verbally or physically and the bystanders often join in. Instead, I wonder if brigning ot light that the most popular don't bully is the key. By showing that the top tier don't have to bully, the second tier should want to follow suit. Give the kids tools to be kind to one another and making friends by kindness to gain status instead of trying to look better by making someone else look bad. Focus on showing how making someone else look bad does not make you look better is a good lesson for the whole society. It doesn't work in the workplace, it should not work in school.

      February 8, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • ferg

      wow, what amazing insight you guys have. i would've never expected this... lol

      February 8, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      My daughter was told to pretend that bullying didn't matter. That worked! It also helped that when boys hit her, she was strong and could defend herself. But, sometimes bullying starts with teachers making fun of students who have some learning problems the teachers won't acknowledge, then other students join in. We need some kind of prayer in schools, such as the Psalms. People seek popularity when they should be looking for spirituality; they idolize themselves otherwise, fill themselves with selfish pride, and contribute nothing good to society. I've known bullied girls who became head nurses; what did the bullies become? Our kids are learning to be evil.

      February 8, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
    • Paul Bahre

      OK, I"m not the biggest guy around, I'm actually quite short 5'5". Growing up I had my share of bullies. I learned early on that you can never back down on a bully, even if it mean getting beat up. I learned quickly a bully can be dispatched quickly by a good punch in the nose and if they were too big then a smack on the head with a big stick. I would get picked on and all I could see is red and the next thing I would know the can of Whoopasss was just opened up and I became the Tasmanian devil. It was kick but or get but kicked. I can tell you this: I didn't go through Jr. High/Sr. High being picked on, even though most of the guys I mixed it up with where now older and much bigger than me, they remembered that crazy little guy that would not back down. I guess they moved on to other targets...

      February 8, 2011 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • courtside

      Whats crazy is if a kid gets punched in the face , that kid gets suspended along with the bully

      February 8, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • J

      This is true at all ages. Complete outcasts in our society are too busy surviving to make life hard on others. True elites (Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, etc.) are kings of the world and can be fat and happy. But beware of the middle-manager fighting for that next promotion... he or she will stab you in the back and leave you out to dry!

      February 8, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • Mister True

      What's the difference between a public school and a prison? In a prison, the guards have the weapons, while in a public school, the inmates have the weapons.

      February 8, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      I also left high school due to bullies. I took a test, the "CHSPE" and got out of high school at age 16. I never had a senior year. Never had a prom. But I was glad to be away from those horrible people. Have never been to a reunion, could care less about those people. I guess it is unfortunate as I may have had memories and experiences from my lost Senior year which would have helped me grow and which would last a lifetime. But whatever, you take the hand you're dealt. And if I ever catch kids and find someone bullying mine, I'm telling mine to stick up for themselves instead of sticking my head in the sand and thinking it's a "phase". I still feel reprocussions of the bullying to date though its mostly going away now. Still not anything I would want someone to have to experience.

      February 8, 2011 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
    • Kaaat

      I'm a middle schooler and it seems to me that adults don't really understand that bullying is complicated and quite often bully's are just trying to be funny. Most bully's are looked down upon by other students because they are disruptive and aren't really funny. Most of the rest of bullying can be easily stopped by the victim ignoring it. There are some serious cases of bullying where adult intervention is needed but these are actually few and far between at least at my school. Also the people who don't really fit in aren't really bullied and can find people who they can talk to at lunch (I am one of those people).

      February 8, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
    • harry

      This isn't hard to understand, they should study these bullies parents in their work place. thier parents are doing the same thing in thier jobs, just a little more secertly. we all see this every day, a bully never dies, they just get smarter about how to do it as they get older! It's the parents for sure, wanting to believe thier better by pushing someone else down, instead of working hard on they're self. Much less work involved in back stabbing!

      February 9, 2011 at 04:11 | Report abuse |
  2. Anonymouse

    Next thing you know, they'll be doing a study to prove that water is, indeed, WET. Duh. I think we all knew that without a big, elaborate study being conducted.

    February 8, 2011 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justin

      Seriously, man. If they paid me to do this research, I would work one day a week, golf the rest, and still get the same dang findings. It's outrageous that people get paid to do this "research" and pretend like it benefits society.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:33 | Report abuse |
    • haarkonen

      that was my first thought. this is common knowledge.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:09 | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      Well now you have empirical evidence to back you up. If something isn't proven through a scientific study and verified, it's hard to determine its veracity.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:35 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Yes! Having research PROVE is thought is BAD!
      So, we'll throw out all research done in the last two centuries.
      Your leeches will be ready for use tomorrow.
      But, as we're throwing out research, your computer won't be around to let us all know how it's working out for you.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • Michael Wong

      Ah yes, the familiar refrain of the anti-science crowd: If a study confirms your belief, then blast scientists for wasting time doing a study that just confirms what you already know. If, on the other hand, a study contradicts your belief, then ignore it and declare that you know you're right from your personal experiences, regardless of what some egghead thinks.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      I agree. I'm sure studies have already been done on bullying, and they would have already come up with all this info. What a waste of time and money.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Agreed. Every time I read something like this, all I think is...

      "I hope you got tenure. Thank you, Captain Obvious."

      Academia is such a farce these days.... Trust me, I work in it.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      A better study would have been to take the obvious a step further. Interview the bullies and ask them why do they do it? Interview their parents to see if there is a common factor? Check out their home life – are they spoiled rich kids who have been raised to think they are better than everyone else? are they incredibly poor kids who's home life is so out of control that they take control where they can?

      There were SO MANY better questions that could have been answered from this study. I said it before and I'll say it again, we have got to stop publishing these pathetic excuses for academic work; especially nationally. CNN you're flaming the fire the would have been better off left in the "American Journal of NO SH$T."

      February 8, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • maxwell

      o shut

      February 8, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
  3. Ryan

    Next they'll tell us all women think they're fat.

    February 8, 2011 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justin

      I seriously LOL'd at my desk on this one. Love it, Ryan.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
    • Kristin

      As a woman, I find this comment hilarious and true.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • bumcheek7

      I LAUGHED SO HARD THAT I JUST PUKED UP THE ENITIRE CONTENTS OF MY BODY, SAVE FOR MY SKELETON – AND GUESS WHAT ? i STILL THINK I'M FAT !!!

      February 8, 2011 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
    • Angelina

      Sorry that's WHITE women...the rest of us women are okay not being nasty little stick figures.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • maxwell

      ryan is dip

      February 8, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      ROTFLMFAO – OH my .....so true

      February 8, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse |
    • msky

      Let's keep turning our kids into soft wimps and our country is going to continue to go into the toilet.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
    • courtside

      Angelina , fat is gross and unhealthy. Go on a diet for your own sake. Saying your ok with it is the lazy answer.

      February 8, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Nah only the non-popular girls would say that. LOL

      February 8, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  4. katie

    What a crap study, and full of turd.

    February 8, 2011 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Such a brilliant, insightful and intellectual response.
      Right up there with wiping one's butt after taking a dump.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
  5. Protective Dad

    I'm not sure what motivates bullies to bully, but I do know this: they understand power, and when the tide turns against them. When my son was being steadily bullied by this one kid and his friends, my brothers and I went over to the kid's house. And in front of the kid, we intimidated his father into believing that we would physically hold him accountable for any further harm that came to my son. Now, I'm not a bully myself, just a protective father. I would have just called the cops the next time around. But given the fear factor that this father and son now had that we'd be back with baseball bats, my son was never touched again. I'm all for a bully-free school zone, and working with the bystanders to create an environment that bullying is not acceptable. But when that doesn't work, I've found the only effective response to bullying is with force of your own (even if it's just suggested, as we did with the father). Of course there will be the naysayers that don't believe in responding with force, but think of it this way: on a much larger scale, this country keeps other bully countries in line by promising that we will respond with force if they act out.

    February 8, 2011 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      The only thing a bully understands is a fat lip and broken leg.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:23 | Report abuse |
    • Joe H

      This is a very nice story, but I believe you are making it up. I highly doubt that you or your brother would have risked incarceration by physically threatening this kid's father. And even if it were true, do you really expect us to believe that something like this would have prevented the kid from stopping his bullying? What were you going to do? When your kid came home and told you that the bullying hadn't stopped, whether it did or not, you really want people to believe that you were going to beat this man with bats?

      Number one, you're an idiot for thinking that this is a way to solve this...but it was nice fiction. Number two, if this happened, you'd be in jail. Number three, if it were true, what the hell kind of message is this to send to your kid: if you can’t talk it out with this kid or his parents or his teachers or his principals, go over and bash someone's head in as a lesson?

      You're a complete tool. Go publish your novel elsewhere.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:32 | Report abuse |
    • liza

      I have three sons and we have always told them that if the usual methods don't work – going to a teacher, having us contact the parent of a bully, etc, then they have permission to fight back. Unfortunately – in our politically correct world – the kids who do fight back against bullies and stand up for themselves are often times punished right along with the bully.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
    • Maria Rivera

      I concur. I saw it happen with my girlfriend and her daughter. Her daughter was afraid to go to school. My girlfriend went to the school and spoke to the principle who informed her that outside school grounds there was little he could do. So she did the next best thing and spoke to the bully's mother. When she notice a few days later that the bullying didn't stop she went straight to the bully's mother and got her point across. Trust me she wasn't as nice as the first visit. Did the bullying stop? Yes it did.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:06 | Report abuse |
    • Protective Dad

      Joe H.

      First of all my story is true. Second, I never told the father I would hit him with a bat (I simply let him use his own imagination). Third, I said in my comments I would actually call the cops instead if the bullying didn't stop (I'm not stupid enough to go to jail, but obviously you're too stupid to read what I wrote). Fourth, my son doesn't know I went there. I teach him kindness, and also to defend himself, but it's hard for him to win when he's the smallest kid in the class. Full disclosure, I went first to the teacher and principal - a number of times. They said they would address it with the kid's parents. But when their PC approach didn't work, I went to the kid's house to give them a taste of what bullying feels like. Sorry you don't like it. I guess you were too cool to worry about being picked on. But my approach worked in the end, and that's all that mattered when it came to my son.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • OhioGirl82

      I definitely believe "Protective Dad". He found the right balance when confronting the bully's parent.

      My kids were being bullied on the school bus when they were 2nd and 3rd grade. A few of the bullies are exactly the kids in the story - the 2nd tier popular kids looking for approval from others. But I also suspected they weren't bad kids, but responding badly to peer pressure. I opted to talk to a few of the kids, one at a time so they could save face, at the bus stop. I directly said, "I heard you've been picking on my kid." Some kids denied it, others confessed. I then said, "Knock it off or I'll tell your mom. If you knock it off, it goes no further. Also, I want you to make sure Tommy (at a different bus stop) also knocks it off."

      I must have found the right balance of threatening and giving them an out. They not only quit bullying my kids, but two are now varsity football players in high school, good friends with my son, and practically serve as bodyguards to my 98 pound weakling 10th grader.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • claudia

      amen.....

      February 8, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
    • slgrdp

      To Joe H. you're a moron! I as a father would gladly go to jail to protect my children! Believe me i would get my money's worth first! If you think this is fiction you don't live in the real world! You must have been a bully or still are and think you're too big and bad to be backed down! Believe me dude when a father's protective instincts kick in all rules go by the wayside!

      February 8, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      I actually like the idea of handling a problem in this way, unfortunately, there are people you just can't deal with in this manner. There are some people, many actually, who would look at your aggression and respond in turn. You could take a situation from just kids bullying each other into something far more dangerous. I agree that your method could be effective, and I personally believe bullies only respond to being threatened in turn, but threatening a grown man in such a manner could lead to something much worse for all parties involved.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      It's all too frequent that it is not what one WILL do that counts, but what others perceive that you MAY do that truly counts.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • eva

      I would do the same thing. If school can't help I'd go to parents. (I would probably threaten with cops, directly) Not fair if your child is nice and can behave, he becomes a victim. I hate that some parents raise bullies. And yes, I believe that comes from home environment.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • WeatherbyMarkV

      JohnH, You need to realize that not all of us are wimps. Jail? Nah, I can afford an attorney. I have done the same thing except I don't call the police. It's never gone beyond talking to the bully and his father. But if it did, I have absolutely no qualms about "dialing" someone up. I would give my life to protect my kids.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      @Joh H: No Joe, you are the idiot, so what you are saying, is when all else fails, just let people run over you? I was bullied, and my dead confronted the bullies parents. I threatened to sue them if I was attacked again, and guess what, the attacks stopped. The thing is, nothing was done until the retarde parents were directly threatened. I'm so sick of people that say violence solves nothing. Let me ask you this, when your brat kid sticks his hand on a stove burner, and gets burned, does he do it again? No, he learns not to do something. If he hadn't, and you just told him not to, he wouldn't learn anything. Volence, in appropriat proportions does solve some problems. But hey, can I have your address, I need a punching bag, and now I know you will just sit there and take it since your to stupid to do anything.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • funny guy

      Try that with me and my family....you'll find that showing up to a gun fight with baseball bats is as stupid as you are.

      February 8, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • E

      Going to the parents might work when they're 2nd graders, but not so well in junior high. I didn't tell my parents most of how I was bullied, but in 7th grade, my mom found out who ripped my book bag as we were wrestling over it. She wrote a note to the kid's mom asking for the $20 for the bag and made me give it to him to give to his mom. As you can imagine, things got even worse then after bringing my mom into the picture. Maybe if the note was from my dad things would have been different? Anyway, if there's physical harassment you should be able to get that to stop, but you can't make kids like you or stop teasing you.

      Now, I have two beautiful little girls. The oldest one is far from an angel though. She can be very mean and bossy to other girls, especially her little sister. Though we teach her over and over to be nice and treat people with respect, I'm afraid she's going to turn into the type of person I used to hate.

      February 8, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • ieat

      absolutely agree. Bullies like to pick on easy targets. If they know that you're not an easy target, they'll leave you alone. Sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Being protective and be ready to defend oneself is not the same as being a bully. Good for you and your child. Hope that kid learnt his lesson.

      February 8, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @funny guy. You sound just like the typical d-bag father raising bullies.

      February 9, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • Kaaat

      The main problem with a "bully free" school zone is that bullying can look like joking around and joking around can look like bullying. Also the line between occasional teasing and bullying is blurred. Did you actually talk to the school about the bullying?

      February 9, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
  6. starbucksjunkie

    Indeed. Anyone who has ever been bullied (raising my hand) or whose child has ever been bullied (yup) could have told them that.

    February 8, 2011 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike Schumer

      Was pretty much the case in 1980. Don't see why it would change.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:03 | Report abuse |
  7. wisdomlivesinsilence

    Reeeeeallly? Seriously? You needed a study for this?

    February 8, 2011 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Derek

    As a teacher, I would like to think that it is the "bullying" that is pushing the student into the "popular" crowd. Nearly ever student is afraid of being bullied and being embarassed in front of their peers, so this is an open door for that bully to force his/her way into the popular crowd.

    But seriously CNN, this is like publishing a study that it is darker when the sun is down than when it is up

    February 8, 2011 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ThoseWhoCantTeach

      Nice theory. I guess that's why you're a teacher.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You are so clueless.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse |
    • GuitarHarry

      Well said. I am also a teacher. @ThoseWhoCan'tTeach: I'm not sure if your remark was intended to be ironic or not, but Derek is dead-on here. Children and parents all have emotional investment, so their views are always going to be somewhat compromised. Every parent thinks their kid is an angel or a victim, NEVER the bully. But the truth is most children experience all three roles to some degree at different points in their childhood. Clearly, aggression is a part of human nature. Bullying is aggression tied to social success and peer acceptance. Bullies are testing the boundaries of aggression; the art of "civilized" aggression is a kind of learned skill; that's why we treat child bullies differently than their adult counterparts (felons.) Solving the problem is WAY more complicated than stating the obvious in a study or slapping an aggressive child.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:59 | Report abuse |
  9. 400thecat

    Thank you for the study.

    Now, could the school systems please stop leaving groups of kids unsupervised? The school systems ARE responsible for what takes place in the environment they are supposed to control.

    February 8, 2011 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. bill

    I think there are different types of bullying based on gender. I wish they would tell us if this happened more with the popular females rather than the males. I think it would be the females that would account for more forthese types of bullies.
    Most male bulliesI knew were just badass.

    February 8, 2011 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. J

    Wow the popular kids are the ones who bully?? I had no idea.....

    I'm so happy money is wasted in this manor :D

    February 8, 2011 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChicagoAnthro

      yeah, they should spend more on teaching us how to spell, obviously

      February 8, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
  12. CJH

    They needed a study do find this out? All they need to do is ask any kid in the playground. For that matter, just ask adults about who did the bullying when they were kids. Nothing has changed.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      It's called science. One STUDIES. One QUESTIONS. One does not just ask around.
      Otherwise, we'd still be in Europe (for the most part) admiring the flat Earth having the sun orbit it.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
  13. nick

    See! This proves that there is no such thing as an "evil dictator". Sure they may engage in genocide, etc. on their way up the ladder, but once they get to the top they are no longer evil, and are beloved by their people. All this has been media lies. Even Hitler was a nice guy.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anne

      He also liked to fingerpaint.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      I know you're being sarcastic, but for what it's worth, Hitler was not popular among his classmates, nor among the members of his Army regiment, and was most certainly bullied by his father. I am not suggesting that this is the reason he became who he ultimately was, but I don't think it's out of line to say that being tormented and ostracized as a child can have a profound and far-reaching effect on how someone views the world and his or her relationship to the other people in it.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:38 | Report abuse |
  14. ann

    Um probably the reason the very most popular aren't the aggressors is because they have their circle of buddies to carry out the aggression. That's kinda like saying the head of the mob isn't very aggressive because he doesn't do much of the bullying himself. This study looks like it was conducted by nonhumans observing human behavior.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CB

      Ann is absolutely right. I have worked in the school system for many years. The top bully always has someone else carry out the worst torment. They are also experts at making fools of many adults in charge by convincing them that they are the class angel.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
  15. Alex

    Wow, this is stating the obvious. Is water also wet?

    February 8, 2011 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Depends

      Which phase?

      February 8, 2011 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
  16. sameeker

    There is only one way to deal with a bully, mandatory boot camp. The only language that they understand is superior force. Their parents were probably bullies too. I still bear the scars of bullying. I am a teacher now and have ZERO tolerance for any kind of bullying.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mulholland

    Okay enough with the bullying hysteria already. All any of these articles do is state the obvious. Centuries ago the same damn thing was happening. It will not stop because we are spreading "awareness." It'a just a part of life.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anonymous

      that sounds like a bully talking, to me. How many wedgies did YOU hand out as a child, Mulholland?

      February 8, 2011 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
  18. WWRRD

    The pretty perfect people at the very top don't need to bully. After all, they are pretty and perfect. Those at the bottom, have accepted their status. They don't need to bully. Everyone else is in the pecking order. If they see they can gain status by knocking someone else down they do it.

    This story seemed to state the obvious. Bullying is and always has been a part of youth. We need to teach kids about how to deal with it and keep it controlled so some kids aren't bullied into doing desperate acts like running way, suicide, and mass murder. I agree that mitigating the bullies by changing the behavior of bystanders might be effective. if a bully can't gain status by bullying, they won't do it.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anne

      Someone is using logic, burn the witch!!

      Teaching kids to deal with bullies is one of the best ways to handle it. Coddling kids and making them feel like super special snowflakes only makes them more desirable targets for bullies. It needs to start by making sure parents are actually taking a positive role in the kid's life because otherwise it changes nothing.

      February 8, 2011 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
  19. Chuck

    The NFL is to blame for most of America's social and economic problems.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Me

      You are an idiot.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
    • R&Bsux

      It's the NFL allowing the National Anthem and Halftime show go "Urban"

      February 8, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
  20. Patrick F

    I'm pretty certain the authors of this study were either: a) popular kids, or b) so educated that they've forgotten their own school days. When I went to school bullies were fairly equally divided between those who were more popular and those at the bottom of the hierarchy. The major difference being that you always knew where you stood with the lower bullies, whereas the bullies who were popular were less likely to dish out the agressions personally – they would enlist the services of others, so as not to stain their reputations. I remember middle and high school as being divided into three groups: athletes/cheerleaders, smokers/tokers, bookworms, and everyone else. It was usually the athletes that caused all the grief. And it was usually the more timid kids who got picked on.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      You are assuming that there is only one group to be popular with. In my school there were various clicks – each had their own popular kids. Some were the jocks and cheerleaders and some were the druggies. Each group had their own popular kids and their own bullies.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:31 | Report abuse |
  21. Chae Hun Cho

    test test test

    February 8, 2011 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. William Collier

    4 Corners Management Group, LLC (4CM) Everyone, thanks for supporting our cause. Please if you have family members and friends with school children? If so forward them our FB web page and get them to "LIKE" our page. Liking our page means taking the first step in Finding Better Solutions to End Bullying in Schools! Our goal is to get a 10,000 supporters by ...1 March 2011. http://www.facebook.com/pages/4-Corners-Management-Group-LLC-4CM/182818861750476

    February 8, 2011 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. revolution46

    I HAD BULLY PICK ON ME. I JUST BET THE HELL OUT OF HIM NOW WE BEST FRIENDS

    February 8, 2011 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GuitarHarry

      Congratulations. You are so cool.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      You bet the hell out of him? Were you playing poker? I'm glad the gambling violence solved your problem.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  24. Loriel

    Is this something new? Talk about ground breaking investigative journalism! Shocker! Most of the popular kids were evil in my high school back in the day. Not all, of course but I can still remember this cheerleader pelting a very overweight and homely girl with chewed gum during class. The teacher never blinked an eye while they all laughed. The rest is a haze to me but I remember grabbing the gum and shoving it in the cheerleader's mouth. I received a suspension for my actions....the revolting little cheerleader received nothing. Including the apology from me that I was supposed to give. I was taught to defend and stand up for others and that is what I did and still do. At least now bullying is acknowledged. When I was in high school, if you were a jock or cheerleader, pom pom girl, or just popular because daddy had all of that Oklahoma oil money, you were untouchable. We had a football player drag to death a dog that belonged to a very poor and slow boy. It was in the school parking lot. He sat there crying over his dog while everyone laughed. The football player received no punishment whatsoever. I am still revolted by the actions of my school and the so called administrators. At least times are changing a little.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lora

      Wow. That is just so harsh. It's downright cruel and sick to hurt a dog like that. I'm really grateful that my school wasn't THAT bad. There was some bullying though. I also agree with everyone that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the popular kids pick on the less popular kids. The schools definitely do NOT help when they don't allow anyone to stick up for themselves either. Many of these kids are victimized twice by the students and then by the school as well when they do what is natural and healthy and defend themselves from it.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:16 | Report abuse |
    • SayWhat

      I couldn't wait to get out of high school and move on to college because of the bullying that went on at my school. One of my friends was constantly picked on by a bully who had a locker near his. Nothing was done about the bullying until my friend decided he had enough and fought back. His reward for standing up for himself? In school suspension for "throwing the first punch". It was sick and twisted, but it was what the teachers and school administrators allowed to happen.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Your stories are all too true. I'm glad you are not a bystander. The world is made by those who stand up to bullies!

      February 8, 2011 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
  25. Totinsky

    I wouldn't be harsh on the study, they are meant to, sometimes, study the obvious. Water is wet? In liquid form that is obvious but in solid and vapor may not be as obvious. Bullying is a problem in our schools and only by studying we may find a variable that has not been observed or manipulated before. Waste of time? Maybe, so its masturbation though, and many don't mind engaging in it.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. HH

    Bullying is NOT "just a part of life" anor a "rite of passage." Behavior that is considered criminal if done by adults (violence, stalking, harassment) shouldn't be tolerated by children.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Shamrock6

    I never understood bullying. I never bullied anyone but when some kid came over to bully me I just jacked him up and that was that. Not really a big deal.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Paul

    What I have observed at my daughter's schools is the teachers perpetuate the "popular" kid problem by showing preference for these kids. I've watched it beginning in elementary school all the way to high school. These kids get picked to do everything – school plays, teacher's helper, sports, etc. Their egos get really big and if the bullying hasn't already started in elementary, it has by middle school. Because they are teacher's favorites, they get away with A LOT of stuff, and the teachers just can't believe their little darlings would actually do anything like bullying. Well it does happen all the time. Obviously not all the popular kids are like this (maybe that top tier they refer to) but a great many are. Teachers need to be more aware of what is going on under their noses and not play favorites.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • inkmouse

      I guess ACTUAL parenting has nothing to do with it.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      now THAT is absolutely true. The 'popular' kids routinely got preferential treatment from teachers and staff during my school days.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • William Collier

      We can help 4 Corners Management Group, LLC (4CM) Everyone, thanks for supporting our cause. Please if you have family members and friends with school children? If so forward them our FB web page and get them to "LIKE" our page. Liking our page means taking the first step in Finding Better Solutions to End Bullying in Schools! Our goal is to get a 10,000 supporters by ...1 March 2011. http://www.facebook.com/pages/4-Corners-Management-Group-LLC-4CM/182818861750476

      February 8, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • Sbaz10

      Yup- the teachers in my middle school and high school were definately giving preferred treatment to jocks, cheerleaders, and kids who's parents belonged to the local country club. If you didn't fall into one of these catagories, you were left to fend for yourself. I was in the middle of the social hiararchy being a band geek. End result, I have never been to a single class reunion, after all those folks were a@#holes back then and by all accounts, still are. The cool fun people I sometimes will run into in stores, etc....and I enjoy cutting up with them. We had some pretty good teachers at our school, but they were def not equiped to deal with bullies, nor were they very interested in doing so. They too as has been stated here were often the brunt of the bullies jokes and intimidation. Parents, get your head out of your A@# and pay attention to what your kids are doing- if your kid steals your responsible- same for bulling!!!

      February 8, 2011 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  29. Rick Mavers

    This conclusion is kind of obvious: it's hard to be a bully if you're an unpopular kid- who are you going to push around?

    February 8, 2011 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anonymous

      other unpopular kids

      February 8, 2011 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • slgrdp

      It's not hard because there is almost always someone weaker and more unpopular than you are! I was relentlessly bullied by this one guy in school and i found myself picking on and bulling others! I was too young and immature to realize the magnitude of what i was doing but i do now! I was in that middle tier of popular kids! I was decent looking, straight A student and wasn't by any means the smallest kid in school! I've apologized for several of the things i did but i'm sure there are people that i did things to that I don't even remember doing! I am fortunate to have three children who are all one of the most popular kids in school and I try my best to make them udnerstand what their actions can do to others becuase they have no way of knowing what is going on in those other kids lives! Folks, we simply don't know what kind of home life some of the kids have these days!

      February 8, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse |
  30. Kh

    Too bad the other kids are too afraid to confront these "popular" bullies. If all the kids decided not to give this brats the time of day the problem would be solved.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      Amen.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • SayWhat

      In my school, if you stood up to a bully, and was unsuccessful, you were instantly the target for the next round of bullying. The only time standing up to a bully works is if you're 100% sure you can beat the snot out of them.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:48 | Report abuse |
  31. Craig

    It took a study to figure this out? A day of observation at any junior high school in America could have told you this.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Suzanne

    As a child I was bullied for several different reasons. We were poor, and I have a birthmark on my face. I was bullied to a point that I rebelled. I felt as if it was "do or die". Be bullied or become the bully. So, around Junior High, I became a 4ft 10 inch bully. That horrible reputation stuck with me, even when I matured and no longer wanted that reputation. I am 40 years old, and it still sticks with me. :(
    I wish there had been other alternatives for situations like mine. Back then, Teachers & parents basically stayed out of it.
    It was always understood that it should be left up to the children to handle their own problems. BUT, obviously there is a point where to far is just to far!
    To this day, when I run into someone I bullied, I apologize to them.

    February 8, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. School boy

    i want to let the group no that a kid bullying has in major way have to do with the parents as i read in the comments. first of all a parent can do everything in there power to "bring up a good kid" in the end its up for the child to decide how they want to live there life. also i rread that dont leave kids unsupervised in a school.....this isnt prison and frankly its impossible for a school to watch kids even 80% of the time. im a senior and in 10th grade i went to a school wen we were escorted to our classrooms. that didnt do anything but make the fights happen in front of the teachers. IN THE END kids will do what they want and the only way for them to do right is for the right influence (usually someone they feel insignificant) to come and jar them the right way. NOw with thu study i see kids get bullied who r "unpopular" they just need to vent frustration being an adolescent who wont let bullying happen around me i get in alot of fights when i see it happen. but i might be that factor that stops the kid from bullying. either way i tried to do something instead of bullcrap studies that arent changing anything......

    February 8, 2011 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • William Collier

      We can help!! 4 Corners Management Group, LLC (4CM) Everyone, thanks for supporting our cause. Please if you have family members and friends with school children? If so forward them our FB web page and get them to "LIKE" our page. Liking our page means taking the first step in Finding Better Solutions to End Bullying in Schools! Our goal is to get a 10,000 supporters by ...1 March 2011. http://www.facebook.com/pages/4-Corners-Management-Group-LLC-4CM/182818861750476

      February 8, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • Nutmeg

      Lord help us if you truly are a Senior in HS – you obviously know NOTHING about grammar and spelling. Your written English is atrocious and you are about to graduate? You need to go back to 3rd grade and start over!

      February 8, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  34. Wondering..

    Yeah, I'm sure this doesn't carry over into adulthood.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SayWhat

      I take it you've never worked in sales and marketing?

      February 8, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse |
  35. ravenne

    You know, everybody's saying "Well, duh!" but in fact I recall that at least in the 1980s the conventional wisdom was actually the opposite. Supposedly bullies were insecure kids with no social skills and being "popular" could be achieved by being kind and considerate to everyone. If you treated other people nicely and with respect, the thinking went, they would like you and want to spend time with you. I bet if you order the booklet that Dear Abby still hawks to teens about "how to be popular" it still has advice like this. This was a complete fiction, of course, but victims of bullying heard it all the time. Supposedly we weren't popular because we weren't "nice" enough, and if kids were popular it was self-evident to adults that they must be nice, because if they weren't why would their peers like them? The solution to being bullied, we were told, was just to be nicer to others, and then we'd be popular too.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • K.W.

      That conventional wisdom was put out by outsiders. Everyone in school knew who the bullies were and that they were at the top. What people couldn't understand is how somebody who was so successful and popular could bully, so it must be the kids with problems. They never asked how they got their.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:23 | Report abuse |
    • cavtrooper

      In my experience Popular kids bullied indirectly. They didn't have too, they had their underlings do the dirty work. The next level down were the most vicious because they weren't secure in their group status and always trying to one up each other.

      Happens in adult groups as well.

      My personal solution to being bullied was to raise the cost of bullying, pain & violence became my currency. Bullies attack in packs and there is no such thing as a fair fight. Only had to do it twice and then got left me alone after that.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
  36. Vlad Q.

    This is unfortunately the truth in school kids these days.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. matadors-cape

    This is a very interesting article. For the first time it gives ideas for attempting a solution. Some of the comments here are also informative. The "enablers" should be focused upon.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jim

    So it took these pencil-necks an elaborate study to figure out what folks like me have known for more than twenty years.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Honest Citizen

    Bullying starts out in the early grades with kids of stature belittling kids with no status in the town or school. Nothing gets done to stop it as the kids of stature are already connected. Their folks are school board, teachers, or financially well off and allowed to bully those less fortunate until...... their victims strike back. Then usually the victim themselves are labeled the bully and punished for defending themselves.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Chelsea

    Kids should not be bullied because of social status! I see kids getting bullied all the time & I try my best to help but other bystanders need to step in too!

    February 8, 2011 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Honest Citizen

      Want to see the inside of a jail cell? Intervene and stop a bully with parents of stature.

      February 8, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
  41. NODAT1

    What a useless report I hope they didn't get any taxpayer money for this. Social groups in school have the same hierarchy system as organize crime they will have one true leader with several followers all with different levels of commitment to the leader of the group. As with organize crime the leader is seldom involved with the actual enforcement of their group, it up to the followers to enforce their wishes. I course the the most popular member of a school social hierarchy is not involved with actual bulling all they need to do is say i dont like that person and they will have followers take care of it for them.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Scott from NH

    The best way to keep your kids from being bullied is to move out of the United States. I remember bringing my son to a neighborhood in Asia where he looked different from all the other kids and nobody knew him. The kids all sat down in front of him and handed their toys to him as a way of saying "We accept you, please play with us."

    February 8, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. matadors-cape

    The article implies we should focus on the enablers...but we can also conclude that the popular can be dangerous. Where should we focus? Depends if we are preventing problems from occuring or addressing problems that are occuring.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Sandy

    Someone must have been desperate for tenure somewhere. The nature of Power on the Playground is no mystery to those who have lived through it, which is almost everyone. Perhaps the author were home schooled?

    One word to the poster who claims parents cause their kids to become bullies. Try having kids yourself sometime. I think you will be amazed at how many things about your children you have zero control over.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. John F

    I like bullying people.. makes me feel good about myself

    February 8, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GuitarHarry

      You take that back!!

      February 8, 2011 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
  46. K.W.

    I was bullied when I was in school. I was lucky. It only lasted for one year. I was also lucky in that fact that I did have friends and a brother in the same class as me. But still it was rough. But I never ditched school, or had thoughts of suicide because I knew that that would be giving in. The real problem my group faced (because we were all bullied for being associated with each other) was that the main leader of the opposing group was related to our teacher. This teacher actually participated in our daily humiliation (not in a liable way like openly supporting the bullying) but not in any way shape or for inhibiting it while simultaneously calling us out on our defensive behavior. It never got violent, but any time we would verbally strike back we would be the ones in trouble. Now most teachers who people say encourage bullying are not like this. I work with groups of children. You really cannot do anything about something you don't see. Kids really do need to come forward if they have a problem. But going to the teacher doesn't really do anything. It is the parents of the bully who need to stop it and the peers who do not bully, but are not openly against the bullying. The popular kids are able to successfully make life hell because they are united. So to all of you who disagree but stand by, just stand with that person and I guarantee the problems will lessen.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Steve

    So, in this self-reported study, the mid-level popular kids that everyone is jealous of were reported as bullies, and the super popular kids that everyone adores were reported as non-bullies. Hmm. Your methodology is flawless.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Tony

    I don't get it... is this supposed to be surprising or in any way informative??

    February 8, 2011 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Honest Citizen

    There is a lot of denial on the parental level. All one has to do to see where it originates is to watch children of the ages 5 through 10 at play. The child standing all alone is the biggest victim. The child leading the group and calling the shots is the bully. Watch closer and see the child who is leading and see their parent watching to make sure no one intercedes and takes the lead away from that bully even for an instance. That parent will chastise any other child or parent for interceding and even call police to back their play describing the other child as THE bully or the parent as a pedophile. Stature in the community gets belief and results. The child learns from this and grows to be the watchful adult passing on the bullying to the next generation.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Ricky L

    And I liked beating bullies up, John.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MikeMazzla

      I thik he was being sarcastic/funny bro

      February 8, 2011 at 10:00 | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.