These findings point to the reasons why most anti-bullying programs don’t work and suggest possible strategies for the future.
The paper was published recently in the American Journal of Sociology.
Co-authors are sociologists Diane Felmlee at Pennsylvania State University and Cassie McMillan at Northeastern University.
This paper is the first known to show that those rivals are often their own friends.
The study focuses, instead, on a broader definition of peer aggression — theorizing that aggression can actually improve the social status of the aggressor.
“The tragedy of Megan Meier highlights more than the limitations of the criminal justice system in addressing complex, often subtle, social problems like bullying,” researchers said.
This work was supported by Pennsylvania State University and the National Science Foundation under an IGERT award DGE-1144860, Big Data Social Science. »