New research from the University of California-Davis suggests that popular teens are targeted by bullies as they seek to climb their school's social hierarchy. “It turns out that as kids are increasing their status, they’re also becoming more attractive as targets for their rivals," said lead author Robert Faris, who studied the behavior of 4,000 8th-10th graders in North Carolina. “I think these kids are being targeted because they occupy desirable social positions that their rivals seek."