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 (1,074 Responses)
  1. K.W.

    Also it seems to me that economic status regulates popularity. There are a few less wealthy kids who would be popular but money was a free pass. Going to an economically diverse school I saw little bullying because there was not an overwhelming majority of any group, either a majority of rich ganging up on the less fortunate or a majority of lower class clinging to the few rich so that they can partake in that bread basket.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mommyofthree

    How is this study just now coming around? I have known for years as I am sure those before me have also known for years that the popular students feel that gives them a license to treat others lower on the social totem pole like absolute crap and even encourage such behavior. Movies like Mean Girls, Jaw Breaker etc. and television shows today just add to the hype and let the current generation believe that such behavior is acceptable and necessary.

    Now, how about doing some real research into how to temper bullying and how to combat it on the home front before more children get killed as a result. The old saying of sticks and stones is not true. WORDS HURT, and teaching violence to go after violence isn't the answer either. We aren't cavemen! Violence should be the last resort if all else has failed.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. MikeMazzla

    I dont know about this.. I think the dirtbags are just as much bullies as others. But forgetting about that...when someone is getting bullied yes you should confide in parents, administrators etc, but a lot of times that wont work. Also a teacher and parent cannot always be there. You can also can seek out an upper classmen, a jocky kid that maybe has a good reputation. I have found that kids like that will often defend the bullied. Whatever it is sometimes being tough or having someone being tough back is the only answer.

    I remember working i na supermarket when i was 16 and there was another 16 yo kid who was a little meek and after work would be pushed around by another guy. This college guy who worked at the store saw what was happenning and confronted the bully saying if he was ever when near this kid he would be the S–t out him...he then kicked the guys headlight in on his car. That guy never ever bullied the kid again.

    Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire...bullies do what they do because they feel like they can... as soon as they see that it wont be tolerated..and their own safety is in question.. they will back off.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Truefax

    We are primates why does this supprise anyone? Kids will behave like monkeys unless we teach them otherwise, bullies are the end result of failed parents.

    February 8, 2011 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. scandigirl

    And what this study doesn't say is that this is also international. Everybody knows this is true.

    My mother gave me the worst advice: 'try to pretend that you don't even notice it. Do not react to bullying and so they will stop'. I can say now, no mother, they don't! Instead, the result was, that I suffered from bullying all the way from 1st to 6th grade, until I changed school. So, I will personally advice my own kids to fight back until they stop, nobody else will do it for you.
    (Sorry about possible errors, english is not my native language).

    February 8, 2011 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Suzanne

      I agree with you. The mean girls in my school only stopped bullying me when I hauled off and gave one of them a bloody lip. I'm not proud of that, but I'd finally had enough.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
    • ric

      I couldn't agree with you more..same thing happened to me. The bullying stopped when I fought back. I think bullying has gotten worst partly because parents are looking for alternative ways of dealing with an age old problem, when the old fashion advice (just fight back) will do nicely. I actually had the bullies want to be my friend after I stood up to the biggest one.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:22 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Of course, this is part of human psychology, not unique to America! In some other countries they wear uniforms to school. So a child isn't necessarily being picked on for their clothes ...but do you think that means no bullying? Human nature means that they will find a weak spot to pick on. And I heard it from my parents too: "Just ignore them, just laugh along with them and they'll stop" (??!) Now I realize that my own parents were weak & "don't like confrontations" so they failed me there. When I was a bit older I decided on my own to just act as if I was confident enough not to care or to pop somebody one if they gave me any crap and it seemed to help. I think confidence is a big part of it, whether a kid is good-looking, has all the right clothes etc., personality really helps. They may still have some adversity but in the long run will be better for it. I would rather have a kid who, if "popular" kids don't accept them, they can honestly say So what?! And have like-minded friends instead.

      February 8, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
  6. SendMoreJunk

    One can write a research paper based on on all the comments that have been put on this article ... Any takers? ... If you do just give me credit for suggesting the research ... hehe

    February 8, 2011 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sure Thing


      This study was made possible by "SendMoreJunk" an anonymous user on a CNN blog that shamelessly asked to be referenced in this study but would not release his/her/its name.


      February 8, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
  7. K.G.

    Seriously?? Did they really need to do a "study" to determine this? Anyone that experienced even one day of junior high school already knows this.

    And yes, it really does get better.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Suzanne

    Well – I would posit that we should look to what we do as a society that sends the message to kids that it's okay to pick on people. Honestly – turn on the television on any given night, and you see people ripping into each other without mercy (especially in so-called "reality" television). It overexposes kids to boorish behaviors like bullying, so they don't think anything of it when they do it. Maybe if we as adults were nicer to each other, we could set a better example.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Nbe

    Everybody already knows this. Everybody who went to school ages ago, everybody in school now, and everybody in between. It is safe to do anything when you are popular. You are buffered against consequences because you can play football or because you are beautiful or rich. And this is true throughout life.

    Of course, you do not have to be a bully just because you can get away with it, and there are admirable children and adults who do not use the power they have to do harm. Some even stick up for the easy marks.

    I remember one athlete who grabbed another who was throwing a skinny scared boy into a locker. "Quit it," said the good guy. And the bully stopped. And the scared boy never forgot it, even after he himself grew big and strong and powerful enough not to have to fear anybody anymore.

    No, it didn't involve me or any of my own family, but I knew all three of those kids.

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

    I used to be bullied when I was in like 7th grade, but in 9th grade I was playing varsity soccer and hung out with mainly upperclassmen and we went to the weight room, so anyone who had to say something to me had to meet mister right hook and mister left upper jab

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

      There ya go!

      February 8, 2011 at 10:17 | Report abuse |
  11. ric

    I was only bullied once. When I finally stood up to him after weeks of being bullied and punched him in the nose, as I was the only minority in a classroom , the teacher punished me instead. (The dark boy who hurt the innocent white kid). Regardless of her treatment towards me it was well worth it. He never bothered me again. Victims need too be taught to stand up against bullies.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Popularbutnice

      Seen that movie before. You are right ric. Reseach that!

      February 8, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
  12. Sarah in Texas

    No doy. Nice research.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Popularbutnice

    Now that you have established what, who and why bullying happens, can we get back to the part of how our schools can be strict in the school, school bus, and public places? Nope... That won't will not be possible. The school has been stripped away the right to discipline the kids by who? You guessed it...the parents! Now the parents bemoan the fact that their child is being bullied. As far all the parents who have no intention to discipline their bully child....do us a favor... Send them to Iraq or Afganistan to show they are really macho. If you don't know your child is a bully.. Here is a test. Ask them who their friends are and watch them. Your kid is who he is in their company.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ab

    The word "duh" doesn't even begin to express the stupidity of this study. As a child who was bullied, I know it was the popular ones who would goad their lackies to bully me. Sheesh, I needed a study to tell me this.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. k

    Not sure how this is news. Anyone who has gone to school knows this. I was not popular, but was bullied by the popular kids. That is how things go. They bully the less popular to look superior and more more popular.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. USArmy

    my son will be 2 in april so i have quite sometime to start worrying about the "bully" thing. the school i went to was a covenant of student and parents as the teachers. 90% of the bullying comes from the students whos parents are the teachers,also from the close friend of the student whos parent is the teacher. even if the son/ daughter disrespects the other student, the teacher themself would have part in the bullying, and coz of the fact the teacher is the parent of that child the school district will NOT do anything to punish that student. (YES TONGANOXIE KS 66086 SCHOOL SYSTEM I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU) and its sad. It's especially worst in a small town school. So to better prepare my son he will learn how to fight and he will learn to make just dicisions and treat people with respect. If I get the phone call from the teacher that my son was in a fight at school I will ask " WHY IS MY SON DOING YOUR JOB?" A person like Derek is probably one of those teachers who don't give a damn and sees it as a sport

    February 8, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. albie

    Or, are they more popular because they bully – look at how twisted US society is with its focus on violence .... could be something to that

    February 8, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. masonjarjar

    I observed this when I was in school. The kids "at the top" were all pretty nice and decent. It was the kids just below them that were the mean, nasty, bullying types. The kids that wanted to be at the top would use bullying as a means to try to increase their stature. However, if they'd only known that was just fighting aganist a pecking orders that had been in place since kindergarten. Kids can be pretty srewed up in their thinking.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. wtwebber

    No kidding! What a insightful article! Popular kids bully more...wow..did we have any doubt.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. From'CrossTheCrick

    I remember being bullied as a child by Jerry Cravens. Jerry used to sic his dog on me, punch me, once he threw me down the basement stairs at his house. I was terrified of him. My mother tried talking to his mother about it, his mother called me a LIAR. Then I found out that Jerry's sister, "Pam", married a bully, and she got the crap beat out of her before she managed to get away. I bet Jerry never made the connection – the connection between how he treated ME, and how his sister got treated. Bullies are STUPID like that.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Frank

    So CNN advocates less football and bullying. Only a matter of time before they start advocating for a pill to make kids less aggressive

    February 8, 2011 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Cheryl

    They needed a massive study to determine these things? I could have told them that for free. Duh.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. schoolsub

    I was bullied as a child. This was in the 1950's. I attended a gradeschool at which my family was at the very bottom of the economic pool of families with kids in that school. I was picked on because our family was not part of the 'society' in our community; financially, we could not "keep up with the Joneses." My parents were not the type to call the parents of the bullies on the carpet. They simply told me that I should avoid the bullies and that I should not let the teasing and comments bother me. (you know, "sticks and stones.....") Fortunately, I was a high achiever and was able to ignore the bullying by understanding that I was above their comments. All of this mostly disappeared when I got to junior high. When I got to seventh grade, I joined the school band. That, I believe, made all the difference in the world. I now had a place that I belonged (the band group). I participated in that group through high school. When I had kids of my own, I urged them to get involve in some school group activity, thus giving them a "family group" to be part of. One child chose band and an athletic group and was very happy and self confident in her school years. The other was not as outgoing and did not stay with any group very long. Her school days were not as happy an experience as her sister's. So, the advice that I have for parents is (a) DON'T fight you kids' battles – make them work it out; (b) encourage them to find a 'school family' group where they can fit in.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Truman

      schoolsub, thank you for your helpful comment. There has been so much in the news about bullying lately, but the focus seems to be on the bullies, with very little practical advice for victims.

      While your advice to help children find a "group" they can belong to isn't new, I think it's often forgotten or glossed over in favor of more dramatic, complicated, or idealistic approaches. Thanks for giving us parents a concrete step we can take to empower our kids.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Good comment. I'm not a parent yet but I've decided it's important to bring your child up to be a "joiner" – find an interest or get them to do some activity as a challenge. Even if they are not bullied it gives them a habit of finding their group that they can fall back on and have a network of friends and another focus. Not to mention being well-rounded and all that.

      February 8, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
  24. rgr6pin

    So that's nice now that (they) have identified the issue..... Now can we please talk about the fix... The one thing I see a lack of at my kids school is conflict resolution, not punishment but actual teaching the kids how to resolve a conflict. Simply making two kids sit on the bench for a few min to cool off is not the solution it is the first step, sadly that is about as far as they go. Anyone ever see any good answers on how to help kids out and find a true resolution for this that could be passed to the teachers?

    February 8, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • USArmy

      holding the school district, principle, teachers, parents and the bully responsible.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • rgr6pin

      Wish it was that simple, I am used to using other methods to take care of a bully so leading my son to take care of this the right way has been a bit of a challenging experience for me..... Schools don't seem to responsive to the fact that ostracizing and the whole we wont play with you because _____ is a form of bullying.

      February 8, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • One Possibility

      I hear that Singapore uses public caning for situations like these... of course, here in America it might actually be the victim that gets caned when s/he stands up for themselves. Sad.

      It's doubly sad that parents here are better enablers than disciplinarians. Of course caning would never fly here... but I figure the days when corporal punishment was still allowed stuff like this would be less prevalent. Not non-existent, but less prevalent.

      February 8, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  25. chieatfetus


    February 8, 2011 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. I_Understand_Science

    It is just amazing how many people are willing to show what scientific morons they are, here in these comments.

    "Oh, this is so obvious!" "They had to do a study for this?" "Anybody who actually went to school could have told them this!"

    These "quotes" aren't actual, as one can tell from the fact they are not rife with misspelled words and/or grammatical errors.

    To all of the people who are in the "this is so obvious" crowd: YES they DID have to study this! Just because "everybody knows" something doesn't make it true. Everybody used to KNOW that the world is flat. Until a study like this is done, what "everybody knows" is just anecdotal evidence, and about as useful as a fan in a hurricane.

    Heh, here's an idea for a study of the obvious: scientific illiterates like many of the posters here, tend to raise kids who are scientifically illiterate, and who will end up do menial jobs for bosses in Brazil, India and China. But wait, is that too "obvious"?

    February 8, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TearsWellingUp

      Gee, I thought the article was about kids not foreign government or job out sourcing. You operate on a much higher plane than the rest of us. May be you should be bullied into addressing the article facts instead of going on some tangent. Hmmm a case for constructive bullying....how profound.

      February 8, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
  27. bulliedforyears

    This article is right on the mark. I'm a grown woman in my 50s now, but I still suffer from the torment I endured as a child. My parents had no idea and back then, no one would have done anything anyway. My mom went to school and was politely told, "kids will be kids." So, I lived through the hell all the way through public school. And the kids that bullied me were the POPULAR kids. WHY? I was shy and quiet and minded my own business, but I was also easy prey. Let me tell you, bullying stays with you forever. I can't change the past, but it ruined every moment of my education from elementary school to high school. If you don't believe this it's probably because you werre a bully yourself!

    February 8, 2011 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. The two witnesses

    They are HERE. The 2 witnesses spoken of in
    Revelation ch 11 call 800 613 9494 or see Facebook .com/wefoundthem today

    February 8, 2011 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Will

      Up your dosage.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
  29. Jimmy

    No kidding?

    February 8, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. josef Barr

    Bullies were dealt with at Columbine. Every now and then, a Columbine will happen, and it will make the di ckhead parents who raise these holy roller bullies realize their kid is dead and in a body bag because they did not teach compassion, patience, or acceptance. The bullies learn it from somewhere. I see it at any school function, it's not just relegated to 7th grade Phys Ed. To those that are bullied: Bring a gun to school and take out as many as you can! Teach the lesson that so many fail to learn.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Meh

      Wow – even I am troubled by that comment. I certainly cant condone that action but if it happens, it happened for a reason

      February 8, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  31. Jimbo

    Unless you have been diagnosed with amnesia since you graduated from high school, l'm pretty sure we all knew this. Are our taxes paying for studies like this? Maybe the next study should be seeing kids who run 2 miles a day are in better shape than those that play video games and don't run.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. AL

    well i think schools should take more actions about this.. more bully kids to be suspended, and let's see what parents will do, when they will start bully beatdown them home.. and come to school like a virgin.... americans doing total wrong things .. 2much freedom to the kid and they dont pay attention to them as much as needed... 1-2hours sitting with your kid won't make your kid one of those bully kids...that's what you get.. there is families who cannot afford private schools or home school because of some freak kids who comes from leftover parents.. that's why its needed a lot of changes in american schools

    February 8, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Will

    In other news, bears shlt in the woods.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Alert Citizen

    I spent my childhood in India where infrastructure for psychological support was non-existent back in early 1980s. I have a non-symmetrical head shape and stammering problem since I was a kid. I was continuously humiliated by bullies in my school. My parents neigher taught me to fight against these people nor they consoled me. Instead they channelized my rage/frustration and energy towards thinking on my own to do better in school, music. I am so happy that they did that along with some excellent teachers I found on my way to growing up.
    Now looking back at these things after being successful in life, I do not feel angry about them but pity on them. I feel sorry for them as they never grew out of that phase and still struggling in life.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sara

    Is this news?

    I can't believe people are funding studies for this.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. toocoolforschool

    people want to bullied by popular kids. i once punched my 10th grade peer in the face and he thanked me for it after.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. DoughBoy

    No kidding... anyone who's gone to public school in the last 50 years knows this. Once again we have a bunch of useless NEA-funded academics spending research money to restate the obvious so they can publish a journal article that no one is ever going to read. Why don't we funnel some of that into medical or energy research, instead of more "Duh" research. Like the big shocking research recently that kids in Singapore are some of the best students in the world in spite of not using a bunch of pointless technology – we've known that for 30 years.

    As a working scientist/engineer, I can tell you from experience that it's idiotic educational research that has destroyed our educational system. Its the same people who have decided that you can teach kids to do math without actually teaching them any math or requiring them to practice it. You know, the one's who inflate the grades and then claim kids are learning more when they actually can't multiply or write a coherent sentence.

    Frankly, I think bullying has a lot to do with standards – if everyone was working hard enough there'd be a lot less time or opportunity to form social cliques and be concerned about what anyone else is doing, and if there were actually any real consequences for this kind of behavior or for simply not doing their work, it would be minimized. As it is though, our schools are becoming little more than a day spa for kids to do whatever they want, and the more free time they have, the worse this is going to get. Just a warning – a big trendy field in education research right now is all about letting students set their own curricula, grading, and behavioral standards. Inmates running the asylum – that should work out well.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Rock

    Snooki once bullied me but I ended up just bending her over

    February 8, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. USMC79

    NO...REALLY?!?! I thought is was the shy dorky kids that were bullys! What a stupid study.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Ecoherbalism

    If your kid is seriously affected by a bully you have FAILED at being a parent. This anti-Bully thing has gone way to far. Bullies are not terrorist, they are kids like everyone else. I remember the only kids being bullied were the stuck up rich kids that use to make up stores for attention..

    February 8, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Cajo

    Would you support this: legislation that would mandate that all kindergarters AND their parent or guardian were required to watch a vidoe on bullying and sign off that they agree to a no-bully school zone. You cant start school until you have all your shots for certain diseases. So why not bring the parents to school and plant the seed that bullying is no longer acceptable; school has been declared a safe haven; and there will be potential for suspension if the child violates the no-bully school zone agreement his parent signed. I am prepared to enact legislation – IF I get some support on this idea. Comments please.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. joseph martino,p.

    as a retired peace officer of 32 years i have seen the consequence of what of bullying,peer pressure and lack of confidence and low self esteem reaps. much of the above problems start at the pre and teen level and may manifest later as anti social behavior.i have suggested to corporate america,education associations to start a program that exposing very young people to uplifting,positive ideas and thoughts. as a public service i have asked corporate americas for example fast food chains and malls to display motivational/inspirational quotations on soft drink cups and mall posters. these are two establishments where young people "meet & eat" i have taken the time to author many motivational quotes to help bolster confidence and help oters to reach their full potential in life. i am not advocating my many quotations.i offer them gratis as i have many of my innovations in the past. 'the only time failure should come success is in a dictionary." copyright joseph p.martino
    "the young man and woman with sight see things as they are, the young man and woman with insight see things as they could be." copyright joseph p.martino
    joseph p.matino poet,writer,inventor (1937- ) millburn,nj

    February 8, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. princess purgatory

    wow....this his the nail on the head.
    I hope Kevin Pyatt from Oregon reads this because he was a "horrible" bully in HighSchool!!

    February 8, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Terry

    We had a few bullies in the 60's, and we united a group of smaller kids, and we waited for the bully after school. We told them that they may hurt one of us, but sooner or later they would face the group as a whole. Eventually, the parents of the bully would ask our parents to make us leave their kid alone. We had very few bullies back then.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. james darnley

    they actually needed to waste time and money on a DUH! YOUR KIDDING ME RIGHT.any fool could have told them this.i guess some people really don;t have anything better to do.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I_Understand_Science

      And you would be the fool?

      February 8, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
  46. EmilyJ

    For most people who went through elementary, middle and high school– didn't we already know this? with or without statistics and specific descriptions?

    February 8, 2011 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. chris

    I saw one 2nd grade classroom had an Oath on the wall with all the kids signature – so they could see it everyday. It was an Oath to be respectful and kind to one another. It all starts at home yes, but also carries over to the teachers.
    Too often teachers and principals act like bureaucrats – Bullies need to be ejected from class, then suspension, then expulsion.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Seriously?

    Erika – You're an idiot. Lumping baldness with alcoholism, obesity, and bad career choices. why would you catagorize being bald as a badge of disgrace? Please hold your breath until I get back to you!!!

    February 8, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marsha

      I agree with the baldness comment. I have a husband who shaves his head and he is totally hot and turns heads everywhere we go!

      February 8, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
  49. Maurice

    Yeah I think there is some truth to this article, but it is really a facade, that is, the most "popular" kids not being bullies. It isn't that they are REALLY nicer, as in having good hearts, they are just acting to put on a good show, so nobody can point at them and say "He is a big bully". The popular kids at my school ALL had parents who worked for the system somehow, and so had special treatment ALWAYS. Their families were good pretentious church going people, which made them look like "good christians" in the eyes of all the people who weren't allowed into their country-club social group. Morally they were no better than anyone else, but nobody who wasn't in their privileged click ever saw what they did in their exclusive social gatherings, and when they DID mingle with the common people, any misdeed would just be overlooked or be brushed aside because so many people just wanted to be like them and have their approval, so snitching or just aknowledging their misdeeds would certainly work contrary to that, especially since their disapproval could turn an already not-so-popular kid into a outcaste. As far as their hearts & souls go, these popular kids are like a bunch of little Paris Hiltons, who think the world owes them, and all the "normal" people are just a bunch of dogs. They are worse than bullies, which is clearly apparent in the fact that the "bullies" more oft than not, are just doing their bidding in order to gain their "friendship" even if they still aren't even allowed to hang out with them.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sean

    Good grief... how much did this study cost? You could have gotten the same answer just buy asking ANY person in America who went though the public school system.

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

      Did you actually read the article? Because that's exactly what they did...asked kids who are going to school in America. And the kids told them. What's the problem?

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