Study: Popular Kids Being Bullied Too

(WREG-TV) Students in photos given to us by Playback Memphis put in a lot of work to build the trust it takes to share stories of being bullied.

A new study from the American Sociological Review reveals those stories are different than the ones you would expect.

The study suggests popular kids in middle and high school face a high risk of being bullied.

“You could be the leader of one group and then all of a sudden have no friends,” Dr. Karin Gubin said.

Dr. Gubin is a psychotherapist who has worked in private and public schools.

She says, besides the gossip, harassment, and physical attacks, popular kids feel the affects.

“A lot of depression,” Dr. Gubin said. “You can have a lot of loneliness. If you hold something inwards, it becomes depression. If you let it out, it becomes anger.”

Virginia Murphy, Founder and Executive Director of Playback Memphis, agreed these issues can cause problems in school.

“Often times students say there’s no space for them to actually give voice to this experience,” Murphy explained.

While she has never run across stories of popular students being victims, her anti-bullying program called “Be The Peace” give students a chance to voice their feelings.

“This can be really emotional,” Murphy said. “We’ve seen in schools where students become very tearful.”

The tears come from the courage it takes to play back a tough experience.

The Center For Education Statistics reports nearly one third of all students between 12 and 18 said they were bullied in 2011.


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