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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. SNB

    I tried everything to get the bullies off my back in HS. 9 time out of 10 the solutions everyone has posted backfired. They called my school suicide high...when we lost a fellow classmate, they were treated like a rockstar, even by those who pushed them to their breaking point, and of course after a week they would continue the bullying and focus on new targets. Teachers who were bullied in school are more likely to take favorites, administrators are worried about test scores and when they finally do intervene its too late, the teachers who run the after school activities are the biggest offenders and the kids whose parents volunteer or donate to these activities are the favorites and bully the most. The school programs in place to help combat bullying never worked and caused more problems for the "victims". The only way to protect yourself and stop it, is to fight back...but the consequences are severe. My suggestion, mandatory weeks where the school brings in college seniors and have them observe the social climate and at the end of the week, have a public intervention with the bullies. Bullies need to be called out, and not by parents or teachers, but by people they think are cool and look up to. Second suggestion, have the high schools alumni from ten years prior come to the school so the popular kids can ask the popular alumni how there life has turned out and their regrets.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cajo

      I like your ideas – especially about college seniors coming into the classroom and observing the social climate. Next step?

      February 8, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  2. CNNSUX7

    Teach your kids martial arts.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bruce

      teach them that ambition and achievement are what matters in the long run – that they'll be left behind while you'll be successful

      February 8, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
    • laura

      I I agree! I am surprised that you are the only person to suggest this. People have a mistaken impression of martial arts. Martial arts teach children not only physical strength but more importantly self confidence. It does not teach kids how to beat up other kids, instead it teaches them how to deal with others in a more appropriate manner. It helps them as well to know that they can punch the bully's clock ...if they need to. Some bullies just won't stop but perhaps being involved in an activity like martial arts can give them something positive to focus on. My kids Karate teacher specifically tells them not to be a bully as well as possible ways to deal with bullies (fists being the last resort). Of course most bullies will hear that your kid has a belt from someone else and they may just go away. It's worth a try.

      February 8, 2011 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
  3. dalis

    This finding is a no-brainer to me. I was bullied EXCLUSIVELY by "popular" girls. Heck, they were the ones so obsessed with the popularity contest just so they could lord it over someone like me, and they browbeat entire grades into worshiping them. The whole point of popularity, not just in the fifth grade but through life, is social rejection.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Marsha

    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

    ARE YOU A TOTAL IDIOT!!!??? I agree that sometimes parents are to blame but what should I teach my soon to be 5 year old daughter if she experiences something like this? Grab a pair of scissors and stab the bully? Because, that would be a way to "deal with" a bully. And I am sure that particular bully will probably think again before they bully. Then I have to take my child our of school for aggression issues. Please, you probably were a bully. I saw my school bully about 5 years after high school. She worked some very low end job, weighed about 300 pounds and looked like she was 40 years old. In my 5 years since high school, I grew to 5'7", 115 pounds and (naturally) grew to a 34DD (I am the poster child for late bloomers). I was teased for being very flatchested and short. So, my advice to those who are being bullied is to remember, what comes around goes around. They will get what's coming to them. Sad to say but, remember Columbine–an extreme case of what bully victims feel they need to do when the just can't take the abuse anymore. Oh, and by the way it is "their" not "there". Glad to see you got the most out of your education.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. LOUISE

    If your child is responding to bullies, it's because you as a parent, are not rearing them in a home with unconditional love. Thus, they don't have the confidence necessary to shield themselves from verbal aggression (physical attack is in a different category). Bullies have been around for ever; good parents are declining. Children who don't receive love, warmth, protection and guidance at home are both the "bull-ee and bull-er.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anonymous

      EXACTLY! Finally, someone gets it!

      February 8, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • scandigirl

      Louise, you are so right!
      This was exactly my case – Lack of parental love and, thus, lack of self confidence was the root cause of me becoming the quiet and shy kid who was easy target for the bullies, and not being able to say a word to defend myself.
      If a child doesn't feel he/she is important and deserves to be loved and respected, he/she is not going to be able to defend himself against bullies! If you think you are bad and show it to others by not defending yourself, who is going to respect you! Everybody else will start to think the same of you.
      All children should be thought that they are not to accept anyone bullying them. That they should try to defend themselves and ask for parents and teachers to help if they cannot stop it by their own actions.
      I was exchange student in U.S. at the age of 17 and I have something very positive to say about the american school system. I really appreciate that there are so many possibilities for all children to have after school activities and feel they are good at something. Also subjects like drama, music, arts will help some children to feel more confident about themselves. In my school there was no after school activities, nothing. Still thankful for the confidence I gained during my school year in U.S. ;)

      February 9, 2011 at 10:02 | Report abuse |
  6. Ace Ventura

    The popular kids bully ehh? I could have saved you the research and told you that myself.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. bruce

    You know what I say to all those bullies and popular kids – F@#$ YOU..........I made it, you didn't

    February 8, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. stephenPE

    I was never bullied way back in school but took down a few in my time.
    Bullies for the most part are cowards and big mouths. Having worked in schools
    for decades I have seen kids do this crap. I dont put up with it. If a child complains to
    me about another kid doing things like this I follow up and talk to witnesses. Kids know
    I will get involved and the hammer will fall so to speak. I think one way would require ALL JR HIGH
    staff and teachers to be visible during student movement in the schools. Class change all
    staff are in the halls and near the doors. Admin, should be all over and where ever the BS can occur.
    Cameras in halls are a good thing too. Kids can be awfully cruel and many will follow the leader.
    When the end result can be kids with guns killing other children we must pay attention and
    figure ways to combat it.

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

      VERY good ideas. Watchful adults can prevent problems.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • SayWhat

      The locker areas in my kids' high school are a prime location for bullying. The rows lockers (maybe 6 foot tall) make it hard for a teacher, or a security camera, to see everything. So guess where my kids say bullying happens? Of course the teachers never see anything since most bullies are smart enough only to act when they're not being watched by an adult.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
  9. JD

    I know how it is. Popular kids picking on the ugly ones. If it goes on forever it will affect you as a person later on in life. You become anti-social and will have other communication problems later on in life. Tell you how bad my story was when I was in school I was in a graduating class of 35 or so and they called my name to get my diploma and on the way up half of the class asked who I was. I was in the school with everyone my entire life. So right know I am a loner. So they way you are treated in school will affect you when you get older.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Brenda

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt4cjUOpn Every school should have kids and teaches watch this movie – it really hits home.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Umm

    Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    February 8, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Brenda

    Rats and Bullies by cassidy mcmillan

    February 8, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jennifer M

    Here's what happened back in the 50s and 60s, when my parents were in school: If one kid was bullying another, some strong male teacher would come along and slam the bully up against a locker. "You wanna pick on somebody, you pick on ME," the teacher would say. As a result, bullying was very rare in their school. The kids could go about their day in peace.

    I say the school just shouldn't put up with it. Period.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HappyAsASquare

      Ain't that the truth!!!

      February 8, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Gina

      I wish teachers could still do this today to some of the jerks kids & teachers have to put up with in school. But unfortunately I also think alot of kids have lost their fear of adults due to the abuse/mistreatment they receive at home.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse |
  14. Honest1

    I was bullied by wealthier kids. I had hand me downs, a bad hair cut, and crooked teeth but my personality was genuine. But these kids wldn't let up. they almost ruined me. They did lower my self esteem. Over the yrs. i grew fr and ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. I see them around (bullies) and am super nice to them, i look them in the eye and leave them wondering where they have seen me before. I have straight teeth, am fit, and am damn good looking. I am a mother of 6 and my husband has taught me to love myself-my self esteem soars through the roof and I am still genuine :D So to all the bullies out there, who used to bully -me you are what u eat.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marsha

      It does make a huge difference when you have a husband who makes you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world! I am glad your situation made you strong and that you have a very happy life. Not many of the bullies can say that.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
  15. commonsense

    This is normal behavior in humans and animals. We sometimes refer to this as the pecking order. Trying to turn this type of behavior into some kind of crisis is nothing but an attempt to force people to all socialize on thee same level. It is equal to the pathetic belief that everyone should get the same trophy for participation in an event. Regardless of badly they performed. Your kid gets bullied because they are weak. Period. Try installing some confidence in them. If your kid is the bully try teaching them better ways to exhibit their superiority.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HappyAsASquare

      How pathetic are you!?! I hope you have no contact with children, because YOU are an awful person.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
    • Honest1

      kids make cruel jokes because they're afraid they may become targets themselves. I take it commonsense was a bully and is till being cruel. shame on u.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • ProperVillain

      Spoken like a true "ex" member of the popular high school crowd.....

      February 8, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • Honest1

      kids make cruel jokes because they're afraid they may become targets themselves. I take it commonsense was a bully and is still being cruel. shame on u.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • SNB

      Remember we are trying to evolve as a species. What you are suggesting is already being practiced by concerned, practical and loving parents, however it is not generating positive results. Survival of the fittest is as relevant as coal stoves, it worked then, but not now. I like your strength, and its a quality we need, but its not going to work for everyone and is a little dated.

      February 8, 2011 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
  16. Jeff A

    Human adolescents can be cruel. Our interpersonal skills and consciences are not completely developed at that age, yet we can perceive all too well when something or somebody is cool or not. Sometimes even though they know it's wrong, kids make cruel jokes because they're afraid they may become targets themselves if they don't direct the ridicule towards somebody else. It's hard to blame the kids for doing what they think they have to do to get by. The real problem is that at some schools teachers and administrators ignore, condone, or sometimes even participate in the negative behavior.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Honest1

    I also have been a Coach and worked in a school setting. Whenever I saw it I put s top to it. As for my own kids, I've shared my stories and they know not to ever make fun of anyone. I always tell the, they never know what those kids have been through before they came to school. They could've been abused physically, etc. AND they come to the only safe place they know-school and dont deserve the bullying. thanks for reading my articles :D I m a n8tv gem who was once being molested by my step grandfather and physically abused by my own mother. I have overcome :D

    February 8, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Really?

    Really? They needed a study to figure this out????

    February 8, 2011 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Mark

    To echo other comments, this is really obvious. I would add, however, that perhaps they have misplaced the causality. I guess that being popular doesn't make you bully, it's that bullying makes you more popular. I was in middle once too!

    February 8, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jessica

    You needed a study to find this out? Heck, I could have told you thins back in 1976. The biggest part of the problem is that kids bully to increase their peer status and that other kids look up to the ones that do that.

    My life in school was miserable because of bullying and it still affects me today. HS reunion coming up, I will not go (and never have) because I have no reason to want to see my tormentors ever again even though I will have some friends there.

    This needs to stop!

    February 8, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ProperVillain

      HIgh School is overrated anyway, Jessica. I remember one of the members of our student council giving this long winded speech about how much "we" are all going to miss high school and I remember, vividly, thinking at that moment "not me, I hate this place". I'd rather have a great life (which I do) post high school than have a brief 4 years be my defining glory days and the rest of my life being a vain attempt to get those feelings back (like a lot of the "popular" kids spend their life doing).

      February 8, 2011 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
  21. deltron

    For a detailed look into bullying, WATCH GLEE ON FOX!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    February 8, 2011 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. HappyAsASquare

    In many cases, bullies learn their behavior from their parents. Some grown-ups never actually "grew up" and continue to spread their childish behaviors to their children. Until people treat others the way they want to be treated, there will always be bullies. Pathetic.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Gordak

    Actually this might be normal, it sounds like a pack of dogs finding their place in line.
    i know some religious wackos would disagree, but we are pack oriented animals

    February 8, 2011 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jules

    In high school, I was bullied by the popular kids. I have learned to put that behind me and I have made some awesome friends, but, I still have the emotional scars they left. I do not think a big study like this was needed. You could probably ask anyone on the street and they will tell you the same thing.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Terry

    Popular kids bully more? Really? I knew this when I was 10. morons

    February 8, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RdclCntrst

    In other news, dogs who have discovered that their spines are flexible have taken to grooming their private areas with their tongues. When asked why dogs are behaving in such a manner, one dog responded: "Because we can."

    February 8, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. person

    ....what a revelation. who knew?

    February 8, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. BM

    If the kid is a bully, I bet the parent is the bigger bully. If bullied by a male ... just kick their b@lls . Simple.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A Mom

      Yep. My daughter had a boy punch her on the playground and she did just that. Laid him flat. After a visit to the principal's (Where he told me she used "extreme force". Really?? Cause she's a puny little GIRL and was hit a couple of times FIRST.), he didn't touch her again and wanted to play with her after that.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
  29. JD

    People stop saying we are animals. We are part of the animal kingdom but we have brains. We don't establish dominance by flinging doodoo at other peoples faces or create a "pecking order". People act the way they do because thats how they were treated or taught by someone or something else. If kids think its OK to cause harm to others they need to be TAUGHT other wise. Or they will do that the rest of there lives. No basic instincts no getting down to the roots nothing like that.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ProperVillain

    This comes as no surprise to anyone who's been at the bottom of the social chain in High School (myself included). Why this concept required any "research" is beyond me. I also agree with @BM, bullies only need one good thrashing by another kid and I can guarantee the bullying would stop. Some times the best way to handle a situation is to go old school....

    February 8, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Gina

    Wow, it took a study to figure this out? Where have these people been?

    February 8, 2011 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Zach

    Nooo wayyyy seriouslyy????
    Noble Prize for this original idea
    I dunno how no one has ever put 2 and 2 together on this one

    February 8, 2011 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. TearsWellingUp

    Have we not learned anything by studying the laws of nature? Why do you think packs have alpha dogs? Why do we have team captains? Because we have leaders, sometimes what is perceived as "bullying" is an attempt to get a member of a group to comply to the norm. What we have to do is harness this energy to be in a more constructive form, get the "bullies" to get the group members to comply.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I_Understand_Science

      Exactly what "norm" are the bullies trying to enforce? The "norm" of intimidation, humiliation, act-like-the-rest-of-us-or-else? What complete rubbish.

      "...harness this energy to be in a more constructive form, get the "bullies" to get the group members to comply."

      Really? Kind of like the Mubarak government in Egypt "harnessed the energy" of thugs with weapons to try to get the Liberty Square protesters to "comply"?

      Ah, it's nice to see that blame the victim is still alive and well.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  34. Jamie Garofalo

    Seriously? If you're writing this rubbish, you were obviosly home schooled.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. hermitman

    Duh.
    Those moving up the popularity ladder must bully others in order to fatten their entourage. Those at the top of the popularity ladder have toadies do it for them...plausible deniability.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. David

    I had trouble with bullies when I was younger, but we all learn to adapt and move on. Life is not ALL about our adolescant years, as we all well know. Once that popular kid turns 18 and has to move out, he or she will learn quick that bullying is not lifes greatest task. Getting a job, their first interview, their first apartment with all the added bills...they will learn quick. There might be a few well off kiddies, that use parents money to float through life, but it will not last forever. Do you want to be 30 or 40 and still live with mom or dad? Think about it...Bullying should stop, but how do we patrol all hallways, classrooms, bathrooms, internet, etc?

    February 8, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Bill

    Wow, what a great study. Popular kids bully more. Did this cost $1.8 million to do? Because any person on earth could have told you this for free. What a waste of our time – give me a break.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I_Understand_Science

      How exactly did this waste your time? And what do you want a break from?

      February 8, 2011 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
    • Katie Dissler

      Haha! I know, I saw this headline and my first thoughts were, "Why did we pay someone to figure this out!?"

      February 8, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
  38. moderate1234

    "Survival of the fittest", John? We're humans, we are a cognitive species that knows right from wrong, and we have something called "civilization". Certain behaviors are incompatible with civilized societies. Murder is a part of nature too, and we have laws against that. Bullying, along with other forms of interpersonal violence and aggression are problems that need to be dealt with. You're misinterpreting Darwin as well, and bullying has nothing to do with "breeding rights", or whatever you said.

    I'll let you google "civilization" on your spare time.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. NateD2002

    Uh duh??? What kid that went to school "EVER" didnt already know this? How much money was wasted to "research" this?? Thats the bigger story.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Katie Dissler

    Didn't we figure this out a long time ago!?!?!?!? Why is this just making headlines now?

    February 8, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. keith

    We had to wait for CNN to tell us what we already knew? of course its the popular kids who bully others....look at frats and sororities and you will see it first hand. if you are not as cool or in line as they want you to be, then you have a target on your back and will continuously their main obsession. I dealt with it growing up and I was never someone to be part of the 'in' crowd....cause I didn't wear the clothes they wore or did the cool things they did, I was never looked at positively....its a shame, because then and even today, their parents are probably the same way...they bullied while they were in school and in turn taught their kids that they're nothing if they're not good enough....the Emilio Estevez character on The Breakfast Club personifies that, but atleast he realized the err of his ways....his dad seemed to be beating it into him that failure is not an option and in turn caused him to think he was better than everyone else, just like Claire because she had money and had sushi for lunch....parents need to wake up today

    February 8, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Dan

    Bullies stay bullies all their lives. They become republicans.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      Hmmm... I noticed that.....

      February 8, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
  43. Jo

    I love when years later they come out with results of a "Study", that shows evidence of something that has been common knowledge forever. It's like that study that had been done . McDonalds and other fast foods can lead to childhood obesity. They seem to be afraid to tackle the in depth issues.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. gunther

    Like everything else, this to starts at home. As long as there are folks swimmin around in the shallow end of the gene pool there will be bully's, dont like it? Adopt China's law, one child a family, stop paying welfare, make ppl work for their money, dont pay them 25$ hour to sit on their a$$. The list goes on, we made this bed......

    February 8, 2011 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Me

    It wasn't like that with me. The kids that bullied me weren't even close to being popular. I think they bullied because they WANTED to be popular and they thought that bullying would get them there, though it didn't.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. A Mom

    I didn't bully, and I always pointed out to my friends when they were bullying someone to make them stop. When I started a new school I had one of the "tough" girls (I wouldn't say popular, unless it was with her small group) try to start a fight with me and start screaming at me and I didn't back down. Once her friends saw I was willing to come to fists if that's what I had to, they pulled her away from me and she never came near me again. Not only that, but her friends then came to respect me and tried to be my friend. I think just having a tough and confident demeanor is enough to stop bullying a lot of times.

    Now that I have a daughter in 2nd grade I try to teach her confidence. It doesn't matter what the other kids say, if they don't like you they are idiots anyway. Just be nice to every one and if you are picked on go to the teacher, if they don't do anything you are strong enough to fight back and won't be punished by me. (But the rule is teacher FIRST, and really my daughter is the scrawniest little thing, but it doesn't matter because she has confidence to handle herself). I find this has been really helpful for her. She has had a few instances with bullying, but it never really affects her, and they become isolated incidents. She doesn't get upset by it because she has the tools to deal with it.

    It's important that teachers and schools do what they can to help the kids, but really kids need to be taught how to act when it happens. And a lot of times "get help from an adult" just really isn't going to cut it.

    Oh, and parents that encourage their kids to be bullies so that they can be "popular" are sick. They do exist and are a large part of the problem.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Alec

    The results of this study are self-evident. I can't wait for the next "study" report: "The sky is blue."

    February 8, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Rob

    The answer is anti-bullying class as a part of the regular curriculum starting in first grade. This social disease that has tormented so many people could finally come to an end.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Demara

    I get bullied quite a bit, but I brush it off.

    I'm an incredibly nice person to be around. However, I don't buy into the shallow social norms of Justin Bieber and fake plastic surgery magazines with photoshopped celebrities – I know how marketing works and how no one my age thinks about what they're doing – so, I'm less popular. I'm fine with that. I'd never dumb myself down to be around the popular kids, especially since they're not very nice.

    February 8, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A Mom

      Good for you!

      February 8, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • Demara

      Hopefully you're not MY mom. :P

      February 8, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  50. Mel

    Congratulations! Researchers have just discovered what kids have known for years!

    February 8, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
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