A developmental perspective on peer rejection: mechanisms of stability and change.
This study examines factors associated with the relative stability of peer rejection among elementary school-aged children. Forty-four initially rejected children (some of whom improved their social status while others remained rejected over a 2-year period) were recruited from a larger sociometric sample. Prospective analyses were conducted to determine whether peer nominated aggression and children's perceptions of their own status in fourth grade were predictive of status improvement by the end of fifth grade. In addition to prospective analyses, initially rejected children and their mothers were invited to participate in a retrospective interview about their social experiences over the past 2 school years. Results of prospective and retrospective analyses suggested that perceived social status, participation in extracurricular activities, locus of control, and parental monitoring were all positively related to status improvement among initially rejected children. Surprisingly, aggressive behavior also was positively related to status improvement among initially rejected boys.
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