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The way bullying works: How new ties facilitate the mutual reinforcement of status and bullying in elementary schools

van der Ploeg, R., Steglich, C. & Veenstra, R., 11-Jan-2019, In : Social Networks. 60, p. 71-82 12 p.

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  • The way bullying works: How new ties facilitate the mutual reinforcement of status and bullying in elementary schools

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DOI

This study addresses the puzzle how high-status bullies in elementary school are able to maintain high status among their classmates despite bullying (some of) them. The dynamic interplay between bullying and status was studied, focusing on how relational bullying affects the creation, dissolution, and maintenance of status attributions, and vice versa. Longitudinal round-robin peer nomination data were obtained from 82 school classes in 15 Dutch elementary schools (2055 students; 50% boys) followed over three yearly measurements, starting out in grades 2–5 when students were aged 8-11. An age-dependent effect of bullying on the creation of new status attributions was found. Whereas the youngest group punished bullying by a refusal to attribute status to the bully, this turned into a reward of bullying in the oldest groups. Unexpectedly, high-status bullies seemed to avoid continual bullying of the same victims, pointing to explanations of why their status can persist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-82
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Networks
Volume60
Early online date11-Jan-2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11-Jan-2019

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