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ERIC Number: EJ1116493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-8312
Do Top Dogs Rule in Middle School? Evidence on Bullying, Safety, and Belonging
Schwartz, Amy Ellen; Stiefel, Leanna; Rothbart, Michah W.
American Educational Research Journal, v53 n5 p1450-1484 Oct 2016
Recent research finds that grade span affects academic achievement but only speculates about the mechanisms. In this study, we examine one commonly cited mechanism, the top dog/bottom dog phenomenon, which states that students at the top of a grade span ("top dogs") have better experiences than those at the bottom ("bottom dogs"). Using an instrumental variables strategy introduced in Rockoff and Lockwood (2010) and a longitudinal data set containing student survey data for New York City public middle school students, we estimate the impact of top dog and bottom dog status on bullying, safety, belonging, and academic achievement. This article provides the first credibly causal evidence that top dog status improves the learning environment and academic achievement. We further find that the top dog effect is strongest in sixth grade and in schools with longer grade spans and that the top dog effect is not explained by new students to a school or student height.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A