Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children who overestimate their popularity less likely to be bullies

Date:
August 10, 2013
Source:
American Sociological Association (ASA)
Summary:
Children who overestimate their popularity are less likely to be bullies than those who underestimate or hold more accurate assessments of their social standing, finds new research.

Children who overestimate their popularity are less likely to be bullies than those who underestimate or hold more accurate assessments of their social standing, finds new research to be presented at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Related Articles


"The more kids overestimated their popularity, the less aggression they displayed," said Jennifer Watling Neal, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. "This means that kids who were more accurate in their assessment of their number of friends or who underestimated their quantity of friends compared to peer report were more aggressive."

Past research has suggested that children who believe they are more competent or well liked than their peers or teachers view them are more aggressive. "But our research suggests there are certain types of positive perceptual biases that have a 'bright side,'" said Neal, who co-authored the study with Elise Cappella, an assistant professor of applied psychology at New York University. "When kids say they have more friends than their peers say they have, those children are actually less aggressive."

This finding was true for both overtly (e.g., hitting, kicking, or threatening to beat up others) and relationally (e.g., excluding others or spreading rumors) aggressive behavior.

The study relied on a survey of 421, mostly African American, second through fourth graders from five public elementary schools in an urban midwestern city. The survey, which was administered in individual classrooms, provided students with the opportunity to identify their friends and the friends of their peers in the class in which they were surveyed. Students also identified classmates who were bullies.

"Children who overestimated their popularity compared to peer report were less likely to be nominated by their peers as overtly or relationally aggressive," Neal said.

The researchers said there could be several reasons why students who overestimate their popularity do not feel the need to bully others. "Kids who overestimate their social connections may also perceive that more peers are watching and judging their behaviors," Neal said. "Children may be less likely to engage in aggressive behaviors that may be observed by, and place into jeopardy, their perceived social connections."

Another possible reason is that students who overestimate their social connections may be nice, sociable kids who believe they are friends with everyone. "On the other hand, aggressive children -- especially those who use forms of aggression such as rumor spreading -- may be more exclusive in who they report as their friends, leading to less overestimation," Neal said.

As for why some students overestimate their social connections, Neal said, "Kids naturally vary in their ability to accurately perceive classroom social connections and their own social positions in the classroom. It's not surprising that some children think they have a lot more friends than they actually do."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Sociological Association (ASA). The original article was written by Marco Siragusa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Sociological Association (ASA). "Children who overestimate their popularity less likely to be bullies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130810063012.htm>.
American Sociological Association (ASA). (2013, August 10). Children who overestimate their popularity less likely to be bullies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130810063012.htm
American Sociological Association (ASA). "Children who overestimate their popularity less likely to be bullies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130810063012.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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