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Popular Students Most Effective in Reducing Bullying, Research Says

Popular Students Most Effective in Reducing Bullying, Research Says

Schools all over the country often turn to teachers and staff when it comes to reducing bullying, but new research suggests that getting students to take a stand would be more beneficial.

"That’s the new finding from a group of researchers from Princeton University, Rutgers University and Yale University whose study shows that when students are the ones to take a stand against bullying – as opposed to adults in the school – it's significantly more impactful,” said US News.

Schools that were most successful in reducing bullying incidents, the researchers found, were ones that "armed their most influential students with social media training and various bullying awareness gear, like bright-colored wrist bands” and "saw a 30 percent reduction in student conflict reports.”

The researchers proved their hypothesis that influential, social students had the most profound effect on reducing bullying by circulating a survey asking students in New Jersey middle schools to identify the most popular students.

The researchers then asked the students to launch anti-bullying campaign throughout the year, "including one that involved them posting photos to Instagram using the hashtag '#iRespect,' and another during which they gifted brightly colored rubber wrist bands to students they saw intervening in a conflict.

This turned out to be widely effective in helping to reduce bullying incidents in the middle schools studied.

"The study also provides an important look at the influence of social networks at schools, and the students identified by researchers shared some important characteristics. Many had an older sibling, were in dating relationships and received compliments from peers on the house in which they lived,” the article said.

In other words, many students looked up to these influential peers and therefore were more receptive to their actions when it came to taking a stance against bullying.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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