Identifying children who are rejected by their peers
Recent research indicates the importance of distinguishing between sociometrically neglected children and sociometrically rejected children. Overall, rejected children exhibit more serious adjustment problems in childhood and in later life. However, making the distinction between neglected status and rejected status traditionally has required administering a negative-nomination sociometric measure, a measure viewed by some researchers and school personnel as having potentially harmful effects. In this article, we propose and evaluate an alternative method of identifying rejected children, which involves the joint use of positive-nomination and rating-scale measures. The results indicate that the alternative method accurately identifies a high percentage of rejected children (91.2%) and that the stability of rejected status, identified using the new method, is similar to that obtained in previous research. The method proposed here should make it possible to identify rejected children when circumstances do not allow for the administration of a negative-nomination measure. © 1986 American Psychological Association.
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