Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Educational Psychology on Social Status - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 105
Social Status/Educational Psychology/Social Media/Upton: a central concern of most school-age children is popularity, also known as social status. Popularity is defined by the majority of peer interaction researchers as the number of children who name a target child as ‘liked’, ‘disliked’, ‘friend’ or ‘best
friend’ (Newcomb et al.. 1993)(1).
Using these nominations, the extent of children’s popularity can be classified into one of four groups:
1. children with the most ‘liked’ nominations are popular;
2. children with the most ‘disliked’ nominations are rejected;
3. children with very few (or even no) nominations are neglected;
4. children are considered controversial if they are both nominated frequently by some and actively disliked by others.
A relationship has been found between children’s popularity levels and their social behaviours as follows:
- Popular children: demonstrate high levels of positive social behaviour and cognitive ability and low levels of aggression and withdrawal compared with average children.
- Rejected children: are more aggressive and withdrawn and less sociable and cognitively skilled than average children. They tend to be perceived as ‘different’ by their peers.
- Neglected children: demonstrate less social interaction and disruptive behaviour but more withdrawal than average children.
- Controversial children: are less compliant and more aggressive than average children.

Newcomb Thesis: popular children’s array of competencies makes them the recipients of positive peer nominations.
AzmitiaVsNewcomb: the increased opportunities for interaction with others that popularity affords leads to an increase in social skills. Peer acceptance may, for instance, influence friendships by determining the amount of choice that children have for making friends (Azmitia et aL, 1998)(2).



1. Newcomb, AF, Bukowski, WM and Pattee, L (1993) Children’s peer relations: a meta-analytic review of popular, rejected, neglected, controversial, and average sociometric status. Psychological Bulletin, 113: 99-128.
2. Azmitia, M, Kamprath, N and Linnet, J (1998) Intimacy and conflict: on the dynamics of boys’ and gir1s friendships during middle childhood and adolescence, in Meyer, L, Grenot-Scheyer, M, Harry, B, Park, H and Schwartz, I (eds) Understanding the Social Lives of Children and Youth. Baltimore, MD: PH Brookes.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Educational Psychology
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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