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The Risks of Unpopularity

Every 5 years, without fail, I traipse halfway across the country to my high school reunion. I go partly to connect with old friends and partly out of the voyeuristic impulse to see how we've all grown up. But the last couple of gatherings have driven home a point that I certainly didn't appreciate during my tender years: looking back, almost everyone says they were part of the uncool group in high school. I suppose this is also behind the success of all of those John Hughes movies: everyone can relate to the lovable loser.

As a result, I haven't worried that much about the social station of my kids. I wasn't cool and turned out fine, so no use thinking about whether they'll be the homecoming queen. But now a new study suggests that, perhaps, being left out as a child has long-term effects. As WebMD described the study from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health:

In sixth grade, the students were asked to name the three classmates they best liked working with at school.

"Favorite" students were named by at least seven of their classmates. "Popular" students got four to six nominations. "Accepted" kids were named by two or three of their classmates. "Peripheral" students were named by only one of their peers, and "marginalized" students weren't picked by anyone.

Decades later, when the students had matured into 50-year-olds, those in the "marginalized" and "peripheral" groups were more likely than their peers to have ever been hospitalized for certain conditions.

There are plenty of good reasons to distrust the study, which falls well short of showing a cause-and-effect relationship between being scorned at lunch at age 11 and ending up in the hospital a half-century later. And the definition of popularity leaves a lot of wiggle room. My gang might have felt like borderline outcasts, but the bond of our group was strong, making me -- at worse -- an "accepted" kid.

So I'm not going to get worked up about whether my children run with a crowd of socially awkward kids, as long as they're running with someone. How about you? Anyone worried about the short- or long-term impact of being an outsider?

By Brian Reid |  September 30, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Child Development , Relationships , Tweens
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Comments


"Anyone worried about the short- or long-term impact of being an outsider?"

No. More navel gazing.

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 30, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

I think by college most people find his or her niche with a group with similar interests and the high school experience doesnt matter as much-unless maybe you are torturing yourself and always going back to high school reunions. I'm curious how many more years high school reunions will be in existence now that Facebook is around and you can check out how people aged that way. My first high school reunion was cancelled due to lack of interest and there were close to 500 people in my graduating class. Nearing my second reunion so curious if that too will be cancelled. I might be interested in goign to one. My youngest cousin is still in high school and seeing how akward it is for him you can see how real the angst is but I think in a few years he will look back and laugh.

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 30, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Great Neptune's Trident! Enough with the crackpot studies/reports/surveys already!!!

Posted by: 06902 | September 30, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Well, there's a big difference between being unpopular or "not cool" and having no friends at all.

If you've got a kid with absolutely no friends, you really owe it to them to find out why because something is clearly wrong.

Posted by: floof | September 30, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I've never been to a HS reunion. I didn't much like the people I went to school with, so why would I go out of my way to spend time with them now? FWIW, I was a nerd, (smart girls were not cool then) but I had a small group of friends and we all did ok.

And, what floof said and then what 06902 said.

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 30, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Are HS reunions an American thing? Neither of my high schools have had a reunion that I am aware of. I assume I would be aware of them since my Mom and Dad still live in the area.

For disclosure - I am from Canada.

Posted by: Billie_R | September 30, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Are HS reunions an American thing? Neither of my high schools have had a reunion that I am aware of. I assume I would be aware of them since my Mom and Dad still live in the area.

For disclosure - I am from Canada.

Posted by: Billie_R | September 30, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse


It's a Queen Bee thing.

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 30, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Brian dear, if you liked high school so much that you travel to your reunions every 5 years (!) you were definitely not one of the uncool kids.

Posted by: bubba777 | September 30, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

As noted, the study does not show cause and effect. I would argue, in fact, that the causation may be reversed. The study apparently didn't ask why the "uncool" kids were so judged. Too sensitive, I guess. But one would think some percentage of the uncool kids are already displaying "issues" in 6th grade. Which come to fruition as adults. They are uncool because of their traits, not the reverse.

Posted by: martintomsal | September 30, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone worried about the short- or long-term impact of being an outsider?"

No.

I'm an Army brat. That means I never went to the same school more than two years in a row until college. I'm also a geek. Some places I was popular (places where there were a lot of geeks and people came and went constantly). Other places I was less popular (places not used to "outsiders" moving in and, um, not placing a high value on education). You learn to deal with it and motivate yourself.

You also learn that people change, and popular folks now may not be so popular later on. When your best friend in first grade in Fort Knox is a royal jerk with whom you fight constantly in fourth grade at Fort Sam Houston, and then he's your best friend again in seventh grade in Germany, you learn that people change.

You also learn what's important in the long run, so you can see that the big star athlete and head cheerleader in high school may rule the place today, but they're going nowhere long term because he drinks, cheats and has already impregnated three girls; while she has a drug habit and eating disorder.

With that background, I haven't been overly concerned about my kids. Granted, they grew up living in the same house all through their schooldays, but they've had groups of friends that have changed over time, and they seem okay. None of them will say (I hope) that high school was the highlight of their lives, but they're doing fine.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | September 30, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I think this sort of thing is only of interest to the people who never move on from high school. Like for instance, someone who still makes a pilgrimage every five years to compare themselves to a bunch of people they barely know. How about a study called "people who go to HS reunions have no sense of self worth"?

Posted by: Sam888 | September 30, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

so much better not to be the 'popular' kids in high school. Cause then you might end up thinking the world is that way. And it's not.

Just my two cents. I was certainly NOT one of the popular kids. It was incredibly fun to go to the 10 year reunion, couldn't make the 20 yr. It's interesting now on facebook to see where people are. Pretty neat.

But worrying about it...well...what good does that do? Your kids should be themselves - the most important thing to teach them is that they should be who they are, not trying to BE one of the 'cool' kids - not trying to be like anyone else. That's the biggest lesson to learn. High school is tough cause well, you go every day, you're THERE, and you have no choices. To someone in high school, it's kind of besides to point to tell them how life is so not like that (you can choose to move, to make friends elsewhere, to hang out in different places, etc).

Posted by: atlmom1234 | September 30, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I agree with 06902, this topic is easy enough to sell without another crackpot study. Brian, you don't need reseach data for every discussion.

I don't care about my kids running with "socially awkward" kids at all, as long as they have a network of trusted, dependable friends. We're watching my daughter quite a bit more closely this year, she just started MS and suddenly a number of her friends are boy crazy - my daughter is not. Our advise to her, stick with who you are comfortable and stay on good terms with everyone.

As for HS reunions, we have been to all of ours - 5, 10, 20 and I am on the committee for the 25th next summer. My husband and I graduated in the same class - he was Mr. HS, I was Ms. Disgruntled. We graduated locally and are still friends with a number of friends from HS, as a matter of fact I have a group of friends I went to K-12 with that I keep in contact with. Truly, the most interesting people from HS were the non-conformists, the brainiacs, band members and underground posse. The popular people, cheerleaders, FB Players, Class President - are all basically the same.

So, as a non-conformist, married to a "popular" guy, we enjoy our old friends and finding new ones among other non-conformists.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | September 30, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Agree on Facebook - it is making it much easier to find people for reunion purposes.

Oh, and Sam888 - I am laughing at the "people who go to HS reunions have no self worth" - if you don't want to go, don't. In our community most people enjoy reconnecting, even if it is every 5-10 years. If you had asked me in HS if I would have ever attended a reunion I would have said - He** NO! I grew up though.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | September 30, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Too smart to be cool back then but have enjoyed reconnecting with folks from HS (we've all changed). Reunions have been great and I am helping plan the next one. If you want to be friends with people from HS, do it. If not, don't do it, but everyone needs friends.

Posted by: ishgebibble | September 30, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Socialization is important for kids. If they feel like outcasts in high school and have nothing to counterbalance that, it could lead to problems down the road. So in that sense, I agree with the general conclusion of the study.

High school was like swimming with sharks for me. So if my kids don't feel they fit in there, I will try to find them something else to build their esteem, etc.

Posted by: Dadat39 | September 30, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I think the correlation hinted at in the study doesn't have anything to do with the effects of being cool or not cool. It just shows that people need other people. Having no friends is a terrible condition to live in, and can be both a cause and an effect of serious physical and/or emotional problems.

On the larger topic of projecting future wellness from social status in HS, I think the anecdotal evidence illustrates a phenomenon that applies in many areas of life: avoiding extremes is often beneficial. The really popular kids are at risk of being spoiled, corrupted, or stunned when they encounter the "real world". The really unpopular kids are at risk of sinking into despair and destructive life patterns. And the kids in the middle tend to be the happiest, even though no one is likely to make a movie about their life. Imagine that.

Just generalizations, for what they're worth. But I think there is wisdom in what Aristotle referred to as the "Golden Mean".

Posted by: mark51 | September 30, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Well, I worry about my daughter navigating the social circles at school, because it matters so much to her. She is a total extrovert, loves having a whole bunch of friends. But she wasn't born with those totally smooth social skills that some kids have. That juxtaposition causes her a fair bit of daily stress, and she gets really down on herself when she just doesn't get why some kid is mad at her. So, yeah, I want to help her learn to navigate that. And it's a lot harder for her than it was for me; I'm a total introvert, so when I hit a rough patch, I was pretty happy just escaping into a book or a tree.

I think the study highlights that we're talking about two different things. I think a lot of folks think being "popular" = belonging to the "popular" crowd (the jocks, preps, BP, etc). But fundamentally, it doesn't matter which particular crowd you're in, as long as you find A crowd that accepts you. I was definitely NOT anywhere near the cool crowd, but I had a really tight circle of friends in the geeky/funky/offbeat world, and that made all the difference.

Posted by: laura33 | September 30, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I just opted out of my 20th reunion in favour of a family weekend away we'd already booked, so my record of never having attended continues. :) Billie, FYI I'm in Toronto, but my school was private, so it might well be an exception.

I think popularity and unpopularity also collide with bullying and that is where a lot of actual damage occurs. But I also agree that the main question is does the child have friends - real ones, not "Queen bees and wannabes."

Posted by: Shandra1 | September 30, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Looks like someone peed in a bunch of cheerio bowls the morning. Just because likes to go to reunions doesn't not mean someone has no self worth. What a bunch of nonsense!!! I don't go every 5 years b/c I live so far away now but I have gone to several because (gasp!) I enjoyed high school and liked the people. That's not to say I was popular or that I didn't go through awkward/difficult phases. Middle school was VERY awkward. I don't see what the big deal is here.

As far as whether I'm concerned for my daughter, yes and no. Of course I want her to be and feel accepted. But, if she is a "geek" or on the "peripheral" that is fine. I want her to feel good about herself, regardless.

A big concern I have is bullying.

Posted by: liledjen4901 | September 30, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I guess I was one of "not cool" kids in high school; but I only went to that school for my senior year. I am not interested in reunions - have never gone to one - high school or college. My friends were from the neighborhood and we still keep in touch. My sense of self-worth was certainly not derived from whether or not I was part of the "in" crowd but in what I was achieving and doing. I'm raising my daughter the same way. I found it interesting at her last girl scout meeting that she was one of 3-4 girls (out of 13) who answered "what are you good at?" (I know - poor grammar). She also had a good sense of what her friends would say her strenths were. BTW - she's 13.

Posted by: anne23 | September 30, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I've never been to a HS reunion. I didn't much like the people I went to school with, so why would I go out of my way to spend time with them now?

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 30, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse
-----------------------
I second this. I hated high school (for a lot of reasons), and I have a reunion next weekend, which I'm not going to. I never much cared for those people then, why on earth would I want to reconnect with them now? So we can all try and one-up each other? Oh, yeah, that sounds like tons of fun.

Instead, I'll be enjoying living in the now, watching the Capitals take on Detroit with my husband who graciously endures my hockey obsession.

Posted by: RedBirdie | September 30, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Coincidentally, my 25th is this weekend. I haven't been to a reunion yet, but I've lived within a 3 mile radius from the HS I graduated from for over 30 years, still keep in contact with my good HS friends, and run into old classmates just about everywhere I go. I think there is a distinction between "popular students" and those with friends. The popular kids were generally very attractive, had parents with lots of money, threw big parties and had access to the best drugs. The kids with lots of good friends were those who simply treated their peers with respect and shared..., um, uh, let's just say they shared their experiencess and leave it at that. Not necessarily mutually exclusive, *BUT*...

Here's a few trends I've noticed:
The popular kids married in their late 20's and got divorced in their early 30's.
The stoners made the most babies and some are still at it.
Many of The kids from troubled families developed serious drug/alcohol problems, commited suicide, or are now institutionalized (mental and correctional)
The kids that kept up with music (band, orchestra, jazz and chorus) throughout their stay in HS are the happiest of all peer groups.

I'll know a little more about my old classmates this Friday as the alumni will be gathering at the Homecoming football game. I'll be there with my HS daughter (she goes to the same school) and plan on having a great time as usual. I just love, love, love marching bands...

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | September 30, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The stoners made the most babies and some are still at it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Many of The kids from troubled families developed serious drug/alcohol problems, commited suicide, or are now institutionalized (mental and correctional)

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | September 30, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Stoner, boozer. Yup, that's Whacky.

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 30, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"You also learn what's important in the long run, so you can see that the big star athlete and head cheerleader in high school may rule the place today....."

Nice sterotyping. I know many cheerleaders and jocks who went on to be very successful.

Posted by: supersonic2 | September 30, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Great. One more study to keep me up at night with anxiety! As if worrying if your kid will have "any" friends at all, or at least appropriate ones that won't get them into smoking meth, isn't agonizing enough !

I have a child with physical and mental delays, so this really scares me as a reality for us.

Posted by: anonforthis | September 30, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Nice sterotyping. I know many cheerleaders and jocks who went on to be very successful.

Posted by: supersonic2 | September 30, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Mad Men" crossover!
Cheerleader - Ann-Margret.

Wasn't Bush a cheerleader?

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 30, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Reunions aside (I've never been), yes, I do worry about the short term effects. One need only think of the VTech shooter, the Columbine Shooters, the Omaha Shooter, etc. etc. to hear stories of loners and outcasts, some mocked by others, to see that there is definitely, for some kids, a big detriment to being viewed as "unpopular." This isn't just about whether the cheerleaders got fat by their 20 year reunions.

Posted by: khachiya1 | September 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"Nice sterotyping. I know many cheerleaders and jocks who went on to be very successful. "

None of the stars from the three high schools I attended went on to be successful in ANY career field. None of them even made it up to the Al Bundy level.

Yes, I'm aware of any number of big-shot jocks who became successful; although Ford was the last President who was truly a big-shot jock. (While many others were athletes, they weren't the big stars - e.g., Barry Obama as a sub on the Punahou basketball team; Jimmy Carter as a cross-country runner. Maybe Bush 41 on the baseball team; who knows?) And yes, Jez, Bush 43 was a cheerleader.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | September 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

fr whacky:

>...Here's a few trends I've noticed:
The popular kids married in their late 20's and got divorced in their early 30's.
The stoners made the most babies and some are still at it. ...

You too? At my five year reunion, there was a classmate, V, who had been married and divorced FOUR times already!

Posted by: Alex511 | September 30, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Picking apart the groups in HS seems a little counter-productive at this point in my life. I am hoping people that haven't made it to a reunion yet are willing to come for our 25th, it really is what makes them interesting.

I have to admit, at our 20th they did a "slide show" of yearbook photos aka popular kids - it was really stupid. A couple of us undergrounder/non-conformists met in the bathroom, smoked and laughed at the spectacle. Now, I hadn't smoked in 20 years so it almost killed me, but we were laughing so hard it was hard to even inhale. Some things never change..... btw I am advising AGAINST the slide show for the 25th, or I will have to meet in the bathroom with my deviant friends again.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | September 30, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Lord almighty, when will we stop trying to wrap everybody in cotton wool and protect them from everything and everyone? Some people need to grow up and get a thicker skin, and accept that not everybody's going to like them and not everything's going to be perfect all the time. It's called Life.

Posted by: Californian11 | September 30, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Some things never change..... btw I am advising AGAINST the slide show for the 25th, or I will have to meet in the bathroom with my deviant friends again.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | September 30, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse


Dibs on that cigarette at the 25th, cheeky.

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 30, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I hated high school (swimming with sharks is a good description), but I went to my 20th reunion anyway because I wanted to see how much people had changed. Boy, was I surprised.

Someone who was one of my best friends in HS totally blew me off, while people who NEVER would have spoken to me in HS were completely nice and interesting. The football star married his HS sweetheart and they were the nicest two people I talked to. I'll go again, hoping that I get to see different people.

What worries me with my son is that he's now one of the most popular kids in his PreK. When he goes to kindergarten next year, it will be to a school without any of his current classmates. I'm afraid he'll be in for a shock. I agree the the middle is the best place to be -- not too popular but not the opposite either.

Posted by: BugsyRIP | September 30, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I wasnt't talking about presidents armybrat. Geez, you seem happy that the people you went to school with are not successful by your standards.

Success is relative.

Posted by: supersonic2 | September 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I was one of those bright but solitary students.

I think the question for the sixth graders should be to name the three classmates they best like eating lunch with at school - that is a better definition of popularity.

I remember a team project in fifth grade when I was grouped with a few of the popular kids in my neighborhood. Maybe they didn't like working with me, or maybe they just didn't like working, but I ended up doing most of the work myself. The experience made a lasting impression about who to rely on.

Posted by: RossEmery | September 30, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

supersonic: "Geez, you seem happy that the people you went to school with are not successful by your standards.

Success is relative. "

Hmm, sorry you took it that way - I derive no particular pleasure from anyone's failures or shortcomings. But, whatever.

Yes, success is relative - I define it as meeting your own personal goals and aspirations. A career military enlisted person is very successful, as is a teacher, etc. If that's what you want, and you accomplish it, good for you.


Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | September 30, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, sorry you took it that way - I derive no particular pleasure from anyone's failures or shortcomings.


Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | September 30, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Obviously not true. You are one of the biggest gossips/slammers on the WaPo blogs.

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 30, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I had a good HS experience because it was the first time I had a "peer group." Until then, I was Antisocial Bright Misfit: I always had a friend or two, but they tended to be other misfits, not the "good kids" my parents wanted me to be friends with (and who I usually found insufferable).

In high school (a fairly large Catholic girls' school that drew from a wider demographic than my previous schools), I connected with the "intellectual bohemian" crowd. They were exactly the sort of friends I needed: supportive and accepting, but kept me on my toes intellectually and socially. I've kept in touch with many of them intermittently over the years, but only went to one reunion (I think the 20th), and was put off by how many of my classmates were still mentally stuck in high school.

But I second martintomsal's opinion. Some "uncool" kids are that way only because they haven't found their niche yet, or they're an "outsider" (an intellectual in a party school). But often there's a good reason why no one likes them -- no social skills, anger problems, etc. -- and those can be signs of a bigger problem that has nothing to do with "popularity."

Posted by: PLozar | September 30, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I was in a "weird/bright" group in h.s. We didn't get along with most of the other kids, and we all ate lunch together in one weird English teacher's classroom. He was a former marine, and he was a really good teacher, but he wasn't one of the teachers that most students liked, because he actually expected his students to learn something and see improvements in their language and writing skills from the beginning to the end of the class.

Those students who hung out in his classroom had a haven from the "sharks" (love the metaphor, or was it a simile?) in the rest of the school. Most of us also took every single English class we could from him.

I only went to one reunion, my 10 year. I looked up a couple of the people from the old group, and we had fun hanging out and catching up that evening.

No, I don't worry about my kids. Older son is a pretty likable guy, in spite of his autism. He has a few friends, mostly other kids from his program, but he's treated well by the majority of students - somehow, he brings out the best in others, and people just seem to like supporting and helping him. At his elementary and middle school promotion/graduation ceremonies, he was one of the kids who got the loudest cheers from classmates. (Both times, DH and I got a little bit misty-eyed, because it surprised us.) But, because of the autism, he's not really that interested in connecting to people and making friends / being popular.

Younger son is Mr. Social Butterfly. This is the kid who was chatting with the grocery store clerk before he was in kindergarten - he's never met a stranger, only new friends he's never met before - and he's always going to have companionship and friendship anywhere he goes.

He's a *nice* kid and all the parents of his friends really like to have him around, and he's got at least a couple of different friends calling every week end to get together. Last week end, "Dylan" was disappointed because younger son spent Friday night and Saturday morning at "David B's" house, Saturday afternoon was homework time, and he was at "Joe's" house on Sunday, so couldn't get together with "Dylan" at all. Then there's "David R" and "Nick" and "Riley" and ... (I know I'm forgetting some of his crowd.) They'll all schedule times when they get onto World of Warcraft together, and they've all joined younger son's guild - whatever that means.

Posted by: SueMc | September 30, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

They'll all schedule times when they get onto World of Warcraft together, and they've all joined younger son's guild - whatever that means.

Posted by: SueMc | September 30, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse


Gay, gay, gay, gay. Do you clean up your messy house for the visitors?

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 30, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Um, Jezebel, just what is *wrong* with you?

Younger son *clearly* likes girls. But it's normal for pre-teens to hang around and be friends with their own gender. Not that it would be a problem if either of our kids were gay - older son was named after DH's best/oldest friend, who happened to be a gay man, and one of the most trusted and loved human beings we've ever known. It's been six years since he passed on, and we still miss him.

And why are you assuming we host visitors in our supposedly "messy house"? Can't you read? I said: "all the parents of his friends really like to have him around", and that younger son spent Friday night at his *friend's* house, and Sunday at a different *friend's* house.

Sheesh! What is your malfunction?
(Hint - directing your hostilities at strangers on a blog, isn't going to solve whatever-it-is that's the cause. Go get some therapy! You'll feel better about yourself, and other people might start to like you a little better, or at least dislike you a little less.)

Posted by: SueMc | September 30, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, someone will invent an electronic prenatal popularity coaching program that you play for the developing fetus.

Posted by: di89 | September 30, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I care a lot about these things. Perhaps because my young daughter seems already (she's 5) to have a really hard time making friends with groups of kids. Given half a chance, she'd rather interract exclusively with adults. Mostly I'm just not sure how to support her.

And, yes, I think the kids on the peripheral and outer edges are targets for all manner of bullying. I don't know if I buy the late-in-life health consequences.

Posted by: michelleg1 | October 1, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I missed this post! I actually think the original question of who "they best liked working with at school" is a really great one. It's less about popularity, in the queen bee sense, and more about general likability. They CAN go hand in hand, but often don't. I adored some very popular kids (including 2 homecoming queens, a QB, and a head cheerleader)and hated others. I was a smart misfit kid, but our group was really pretty big, so we were hardly marginalized. I just want my kids to have friends and not be bullied.

Posted by: atb2 | October 5, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

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