When the word bullying is brought up, one always pictures in his or her mind a big angry boy, who picks on other small helpless children. What some don’t realize is that bullying comes hand in hand with popularity, likeability, and peer acceptance. Children are heavily influenced by other kids his or her age, as the old saying goes, “But mom Jimmy gets to stay up past 10, why can’t I?” According to Miranda Witvliet, to understand children’s peer group affiliation, you need to be able to examine children naturally occurring groups resemble each other on bullying, likeability, and perceived popularity. To be accepted by a popular group of kids, others would follow in his or her footsteps and will bully others, even if the child knew it were wrong. Schools around the country have constructed anti-bullying campaigns and have programs setup to teach students, teachers, and family members what to do to prevent bullying. In an article by Jennifer Dignan, she explains how Stomp Out Bullying and The National Center for Bullying Prevention are two organizations working to put an end to the epidemic. To help prevent bullying people need to understand how the victims and the bullies are affected by other peers.
Children create peer groups to gain a sense of belonging and acceptance, alongside with socializing with others who have common interests, jobs, or social positions. At a young age, peer groups show children what is considered acceptable behavior around his or her peers and what is deemed unacceptable behavior. In certain social groups, there are role expectations that people have to be met. When in the peer group, often children will influence each other to engage in appropriate behaviors that can be seen as right or wrong.
Young children can also benefit from being in a peer group. Children often see this as a sense of freedom from his or her parents. They don’t have the other kids bossing them around telling them what to do; instead the other kids are there just to enjoy one another’s company. Even thought peer groups or social scenes have its perks, there are also downfalls. One major down fall from peer groups is peer pressure. Many things are influenced by his or her peers, such as speaking differently and how one is to dress around his or her friends. If one is to conform to the group’s expectations and standards, they will accept the child more. One someone is fully accepted, they will be able to gain more trust. Often it is seen that bullying is highly accepted. If the group is bullying a child that is not in the peer group, you must join in and will be respected and trusted more. Usually when a child protests against the bullying, they are ostracized and will be no longer to associate with that group. “The preadolescence phase is the area most influenced by peer groups, because it affects how the child sees his or herself” (Kendall).
When in school, children strive for popularity. The idea of having an abundant amount of friends to...