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Bullies can enjoy high social status

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Whether a child is beginning kindergarten or finishing high school, 100 percent of children are touched by bullying, a U.S. author says.

Dr. Meline Kevorkian of Nova Southeastern University and author of the book "101 Facts About Bullying: What Everyone Should Know," says bullying is not simply a part of growing up.

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"In a recent study, 77 percent of students said they have been bullied and 14 percent of those who have been bullied said they have experienced severe reactions to the abuse," Kevorkian said in a statement.

Kevorkian says children can be both bullies and victims -- students may be a victim in a given circumstance and a bully in another.

"We should not tell students to fight back against bullies. The cycle of bullying and victimization is reinforced when the victim responds aggressively," Kevorkian says. "Mediation between the bully and victim is not possible; in a true case of bullying, putting them together to work out their problems would simply re-victimize the victim."

The popular kids are very likely to use their status within the group to humiliate others, the book says.

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"And because they tend to be psychologically stronger than their peers, they use that ability to control others," Kevorkian says. "Bullies can enjoy a high social status."

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