The Emergence of Social Dominance in Young Boys' Play Groups: Developmental Differences and Behavioral Correlates

Journal Article

This study examined relations among dominance, sociometric preference, and social behavior in groups of 1st- and 3rd-grade boys. Twenty groups of 6 unacquainted boys met for five 45-min semistructured play sessions on consecutive days. Sociometric interviews yielded daily social preference scores. Boys' social behaviors were coded from video records into discrete categories. Dominance hierarchies were formed on the basis of asymmetry (receiving vs. initiating) of peer-directed aggression or persuasion attempts. Group-level results indicated that the least coherently organized groups were those containing younger boys and those in which aggression occurred at a high rate. Individual-level results indicated that dominance was associated with social preference to a greater degree among younger than older boys. Dominance was more highly related to leadership in older than younger boys. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to the role of aggression in the social organization of boys' peer groups.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pettit, GS; Bakshi, A; Dodge, KA; Coie, JD

Published Date

  • January 1, 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1017 - 1025

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0012-1649.26.6.1017

Citation Source

  • Scopus