A recent study at Penn State looked at bullying in schools. Specifically, who your kid is most likely to be bullied by. And the answer is . . . usually their own FRIENDS.
Researchers asked 3,000 kids about recent run-ins with bullies. Then they checked back in with them every year for five years straight. And the people who bullied them the most were their friends, or friends-of-friends. It was much less common to be bullied by kids they didn’t know, or barely knew.
It happens because they’re around each other a lot. And even friends can be pretty mean at that age if they’re competing over things like grades, or someone’s attention.
A lot of parents might not know it’s happening. And kids might not even realize a “friend” can bully you. So the people behind the study hope it helps kids realize they’re not alone, and it’s okay to talk about it if you’re being bullied by a friend.