The Harder They Fall
New research shows that high-status kids go after each other more than they go after misfits. The targets say they suffer more, too.
Who are the kids who get picked on by other kids—and who suffer most as a result? We are used to worrying about the socially isolated misfits, the tweens and teens who are far down in the pecking order and can’t really defend themselves. We should still worry about those kids, especially if they’re disabled, or gay at a school where that’s not accepted. But they are not the only targets of teenage cruelty. The surprising finding in a new study is that it’s kids with social clout—the popular kids—who report the most distress when they say they’re victimized by their peers.
I find this interesting. When I was in jr. high school, it was the "outsiders" or the "loners" who were victimized and picked on most. I know this, I was one of them. But nowadays, as a teacher and as a mother of a tween girl, I have noticed that it is very much the "popular crowd" who bully each other, gossip and pick on one another. Perhaps this is about power or control of their group? or being jealous of the threat from someone in their group to have the power? I don't know, but this article is interesting to me as my daughter moves on to middle school in September and as I continue to teach middle school and observe the behaviour of my students.
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