By Kristin DeCarr
A new study performed by researchers at Syracuse and New York Universities takes a closer look at bullying within the school system, finding that students at the top of a grade span, more commonly referred to as “top dogs,” have a better experience than those on the bottom.
The report, “Do Top Dogs Rule in Middle School? Evidence on Bullying, Safety, and Belonging,” found that schools with larger grade spans typically have less instances of bullying. The authors state that as students move through grade levels, they take on more of a leadership role and are less likely to be bullied by other students within the school.
After studying reports from more than 90,000 students in over 500 city schools broken up into grade ranges of K-8, K-6, 6-8, 5-8, and 6-12, results were found matching those from a 2011 study performed by some of the same lead researchers, which found traditional elementary and middle school age ranges were worse for student test scores.