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Children’s Peer Status and Their Adjustment in Adolescence and Adulthood : Developmental issues in sociometric research

by Zettergren, Peter

Abstract (Summary)
The present research intended to examine the relationship between childhood stable peer status and adjustment in midadolescence for both genders, and adjustment in early and middle adulthood for women. One-year stably peer rejected, popular, and average boys and girls were identified by an age 10 and age 11 sociometric classification procedure using positive nominations and rank-ordering. These groups were examined in midadolescence. Findings indicated that stable peer rejection in childhood was associated with negative school adjustment and problems in peer relations in adolescence for both genders, and that many rejected boys were school dropouts. However, rejected children did not associate with deviant peers or show more antisocial behavior than their counterparts. For the adulthood follow-up, cluster analysis using LICUR was applied on rank-ordering data from age 10 and age 13 in order to identify 3-year stably rejected, popular, and average groups of girls. A methodological comparison with a standard sociometric method showed that the applied cluster analysis seems to be a useful additional tool in the arsenal of sociometric classification methods. Furthermore, one seems to arrive at larger stable peer status groups with this method than with other sociometric classification methods. The longitudinal follow-up into adulthood showed that rejected girls were at increased risk for criminal offending and alcohol abuse in young adulthood. Childhood aggressive behavior explained the significant association between peer rejection and criminality. There were no significant differences between the stable peer status clusters in the midadulthood adjustment areas of social relations, health, occupation, and subjective well-being, except that popular girls had achieved more successful vocational careers (which in its turn was explained by their higher academic achievement in childhood). Constraints and implications for future research were discussed.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Social sciences; Psychology; sociometric peer status; classification; stability; cluster analysis; longitudinal; long-term adjustment; childhood; adolescence; adulthood; Psychology; psykologi

ISBN:91-7155-387-8

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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