Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pursuit of status and affection drives bullies' behavior

Date:
March 27, 2010
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A longitudinal study of almost 500 Dutch elementary-school children ages 9 to 12 finds that bullies generally choose to gain status by dominating their victims and that, at the same time, bullies try to reduce the chances that they'll end up on the outs with other classmates by choosing as victims children who are weak and not well-liked by others. The research team also found that gender plays a strong role in who victimizes whom.

Bullying is common in classrooms around the world: About 15 percent of children are victimized, leading to depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other negative outcomes. What's driving bullies to behave the way they do? According to a new large-scale Dutch study, most bullies are motivated by the pursuit of status and affection.

The longitudinal study was conducted by researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. It appears in the March/April 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.

In their work, the researchers questioned almost 500 elementary-school children ages 9 to 12. Based on their findings, they conclude that bullies generally choose to gain status by dominating their victims. But at the same time, they try to reduce the chances that they'll end up on the outs with other classmates by choosing as victims children who are weak and not well-liked by others. In short, even bullies care a lot about others' affection and don't want to lose it.

Gender also plays a role. For example, the study finds that at this age, bullies only care about not losing affection from classmates of their own gender. So when boys bully boys, it doesn't matter whether girls approve or disapprove. The same holds for girls. Moreover, boys will bully only those girls that aren't well liked by other boys, regardless of what girls think about it, and girls will do the same in their bullying of boys.

"To understand the complex nature of acceptance and rejection, it's necessary to distinguish the gender of the bully, the gender of the target, and the gender of the classmates who accept and reject bullies and victims," according to Renι Veenstra, professor of sociology at the University of Groningen, who led the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Renι Veenstra, Siegwart Lindenberg, Anke Munniksma, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra. The Complex Relation Between Bullying, Victimization, Acceptance, and Rejection: Giving Special Attention to Status, Affection, and Sex Differences. Child Development, 2010; 81 (2): 480 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01411.x

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Pursuit of status and affection drives bullies' behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325091424.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2010, March 27). Pursuit of status and affection drives bullies' behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325091424.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Pursuit of status and affection drives bullies' behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325091424.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) — We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins