Study links teenage bullying to social status
As students get more popular, they’re more likely to harass their peers, finds a study that reinforces an axiom of high school life.
Scientists have confirmed an axiom of teenage life: Kids intent on climbing the social ladder at school are more likely to pick on their fellow students.
The finding, reported in Tuesday’s edition of the American Sociological Review, lends an air of authenticity to TV shows like “Gossip Girl” and the 2004 movie “Mean Girls.” More importantly, it may suggest that efforts to combat bullying in schools should focus more closely on social hierarchies.
Though the study reinforces popular stereotypes about social cliques in schools, it contradicts academic notions about aggression, Faris said.
“For a long time, there was emphasis on seeing aggression as a product of the home environment,” he said. “Here we’re getting a different picture.”