Beyond the Classroom Norm: The Influence of Bullying of Popular Adolescents on Peer Acceptance and Rejection
Research has shown that the extent to which behavior occurs in a class (the class norm) is influential on the way that this behavior is associated with peer acceptance and peer rejection. In this research we investigated how much of a roll bullying-behavior of popular boys in the class (popularity norm) plays in the extent to which bullying is connected to either peer acceptance or peer rejection. More specifically, we compared the average bullying-behavior of popular boys in the class with the average of bullying-behavior of non-popular boys in the class, and this in interaction with individual bullying-behavior.
The data originate from a sub-sample of peer nominations from TRAILS (N=3312). Results of multilevel regression analysis shows that the negative effects of bullying on peer acceptance, and the positive effects on peer rejection, decrease in classes where popular children are involved in bullying. This study suggests that the involvement of popular boys in bullying decreases the negative effect of bullying on peer acceptance and peer rejection. The average bullying behavior is less important in this respect.