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Study Shows Students More Effective at Curbing Bullying than Adults

For the study, researchers gave anti-bullying training to students identified as the most social in their schools.

A new study shows that popular students make a bigger difference curbing bullying than teachers or school staff members.

Researchers conducting the study observed 56 middle schools in New Jersey that gave their most social students anti-bullying training. The participating schools experienced a 30 percent drop in student conflicts during the 2012-2013 school year, according to US News.

To get a better understanding of each school’s social structure, researchers surveyed roughly 24,000 students asking which classmates they’d most like to spend time with both in and outside of school. From there, the students identified as the most social were invited to monthly anti-bullying sessions, given social media training and bullying awareness gear.

RELATED: Study Shows Bullying Victims More Likely to be Depressed When They Grow Up

The authors of the study say its results show school policies aren’t the only way to reduce bullying and may not be the most effective technique to stop bullying. In fact, the researchers say there’s little evidence that traditional school policies have any influence on student conflict.

The study suggests that encouraging a small set of students to take an anti-bullying stance can have a significant impact on a school’s culture.

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