Cliques in Elementary/Middle School

Table of Content

            The cliques form a part of the elementary and middle school years for students. It is an inevitable part of the said institution that deserves a focus in order to grasp an understanding of the relevant information it could provide.

This paper seeks to provide information with regard to cliques in elementary and middle school in general. Likewise, it will also provide additional information with regard to the reasons why cliques form and the events that could lead to the formation of such, the effects on the aspect of academic for children, and the disadvantages that cliques pose for the youth.

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What are Cliques?

            Cliques are groups of students which are characterized by having a set of people who joins with someone who emerges as their leader (Khalsa 64). However, what sets this particular type of group apart from the rest of those that are formed in schools is that these groups have the purpose of excluding people who do not fit in their circle based on several standards that they set (Khalsa 64). Thus, a person who is a friend of someone inside a particular clique could not easily join in such because of the exclusion that the group expresses. In addition to the exclusion based on standards, they also articulate their feeling of superiority as a group as compared to the others (“Why are Cliques so Important?” par. 4).

Why and How do Cliques Emerge?

            In a video interview of Dr. Harvey Hoyo, the President of the California School Counselors Association, he mentioned that the formation of cliques in school is nothing but a “natural kind of phenomenon” that really exists in the said social place. Being social beings, students also has the need to feel that they belong to a group, have a sense of affirmation, and they are “needed” by people (Hoya). As they are able to interact with one another in a social setting, the students are able to practice their social skills. It could be considered that this is their first taste of a community and they feel the need to belong because of the pressures of having someone by their side and being immersed into interaction with other people.

            In addition to this, shared interests that become apparent as students are able to see one another could also contribute to such (“How Cliques Make Kids Feel Left Out” par. 9). For example, there are cliques formed out of the basketball jocks, the rich kids, the gothic artists, and others which see their interests as a very distinct separation from the rest of those in the school. The different purposes of these cliques also result to different outcomes for the members who wish to associate themselves with a particular clique.

Impact on the Education and Socialization for Children

            Since the socialization process could not be separated from the learning process inside the schools, impacts of cliques would also have a bearing on the studies of students. It is important that this is examined and taken into consideration as there are both positive and negative effects of such. The positive are the ones which are to be taken into consideration first.

            As it is mentioned above that these cliques could be formed out of certain interests, there is a possibility that cliques are formed out of shared academic interest. Setting the element of exclusion aside, it benefits the members by enabling them to interact with other people who share their interests in academic topics. It will enhance them in so far as sharing ideas and broadening their horizons are concerned.

            On the other hand, cliques may be deemed negative such that it promotes the notion that excluding or making other people feel bad about their selves for the purpose of gaining superiority is a normal phenomenon. Likewise, it produced negative feelings from those who could not enter the clique which they want to be in because they feel that something must be wrong with them (“How Cliques Make Kids Feel Left Out” par. 11). Without the assurance that they are accepted by the community in the school, they are affected in their everyday socialization. This could affect how they deal with things once they are not able to handle their insecurities well. Likewise, there is the constant need for the student to keep with the demands of the clique he/she belong to. It could sometimes lead to the interference of studies. Sometimes, the activities of the group would include those that are prohibited within the school premises and this places the members in uncertain grounds. It could affect their record in schools and would affect how they deal with the matters which are school-related.


            The clique is set apart from a group of friends as there is the element of exclusion and superiority. Likewise, there are different reasons and events that lead to the formation of cliques by the students. The fact that the school is considered as a social environment makes it difficult to separate the effects of cliques with that of learning. It is also to be noted that there are both positive and negative outcomes but oftentimes than not, the negative ones are the ones which come above the positive ones.

Works Cited

How Cliques Make Kids Feel Left Out. The Nemours Foundation. 11 July 2008 <>.

Hoya, Harvey. Cliques and Friends. VideoJug Corporation Limited. 11 July 2008 <>.

Khalsa, SiriNam. Break the Bully Cycle: Intervention Techniques & Activities to Create a Respectful School Community. USA: Good Year Books, 2007.

Why are Cliques So Important? The Procter & Gamble Co. 11 July 2008 <>.

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Cliques in Elementary/Middle School. (2016, Sep 25). Retrieved from

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