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The present study compared the behavioral correlates of sociometric popularity status and consensual popularity status among a large group of children (N = 778) in their first year of secondary school. By means of self-report and classmates’ nomination procedures, the relative contribution of the two types of popularity to peer role strain and self-esteem were investigated. Results indicated large differences in the behavioral correlates of both types of popularity: Sociometric popularity is largely related to cooperative behavior and being perceived as popular. Consensual popularity is highly related to fashion style and being perceived as not boring. The two types of popu-larity were uniquely related to self-esteem levels. Consensual popularity was directly linked to social self-esteem; sociometric popularity appeared to be linked to self-esteem through the reduction of peer role strain levels. The results are discussed in the light of social psychological theories of dominance and prestige among children.
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Articles
Interpersonal Behavior, Peer Popularity, and
Self-esteem in Early Adolescence
Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom, Department of
Educational Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Abstract
The present study compared the behavioral correlates of sociometric popularity status
and consensual popularity status among a large group of children ( N =778) in their
first year of secondary school. By means of self-report and classmates nomination pro-
cedures, the relative contribution of the two types of popularity to peer role strain and
self-esteem were investigated. Results indicated large differences in the behavioral
correlates of both types of popularity: Sociometric popularity is largely related to
cooperative behavior and being perceived as popular. Consensual popularity is highly
related to fashion style and being perceived as not boring. The two types of popu-
larity were uniquely related to self-esteem levels. Consensual popularity was directly
linked to social self-esteem; sociometric popularity appeared to be linked to self-
esteem through the reduction of peer role strain levels. The results are discussed in
the light of social psychological theories of dominance and prestige among children.
Keywords: peer popularity; consensual popularity; role strain; self-esteem
The popularity status of adolescents appears to be associated with many indicators of
healthy interpersonal and individual functioning (Hartup, 1995). At the interpersonal
level, popular adolescents display effective social skills (Hartup, 1995) and generally
exhibit traits conducive to maintaining close friendships such as warmth and respon-
siveness (e.g., La Freniere & Charlesworth, 1987). In contrast, rejected adolescents
appear more aggressive, mean, and vindictive toward peers (Hartup, 1995; Hopmeyer
Gorman, Kim & Schimmelbusch, 2001; Newcomb & Bukowski, 1983). At the indi-
vidual level, links have been revealed between adolescents’ popularity ratings and
several measures of psychosocial functioning. For instance, popular adolescents regard
their social selves in a more favorable light (Chambliss, Muller, Hulnick & Wood,
1978; Harter, Stocker & Robinson, 1996; Simon, 1972) and appear to experience fewer
hassles from classmates as manifested by reduced peer role strain levels (Fenzel, 1989,
2000). In all aforementioned studies, however, adolescents’ popularity status resulted
from an explicitly defined method of classification based on researchers’ a priori
Correspondence should be addressed to Eddy H. de Bruyn, Department of Educational Sciences,
University of Amsterdam, Wibautstraat 4, 1091 GM Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email:
edebruyn@fmg.uva.nl
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street,
Malden, MA 02148, USA.
556 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
criteria of popularity (e.g., Babad, 2001; Coie, Dodge & Coppotelli, 1982; Newcomb
& Bukowski, 1983).
More recently, an implicit method of popularity rating is being used increasingly
(Babad, 2001; Cillessen & Mayeux, 2004; Farmer, Estell, Bishop, O’Neal & Cairns,
2003; LaFontana & Cillessen, 2002; Lease, Kennedy & Axelrod, 2002; Lease,
Musgrove & Axelrod, 2002; Parkhurst & Hopmeyer, 1998). This method of assessing
popularity relies on adolescents’ nominations of popular and unpopular peers and is
labeled as judgmental sociometry (Babad, 2001), perceived popularity (Parkhurst &
Hopmeyer, 1998), or consensual popularity (this inquiry). Studies suggest that con-
sensually popular children display a plethora of behaviors and characteristics asso-
ciated with social dominance and prestige. For instance, Lease et al. (2002) showed
that consensually popular/dominant children were more attractive and more rela-
tionally aggressive. Also, Farmer et al.s (2003) study of young African-Americans
revealed that consensually popular youth scored high on social prominence, social
skills, manipulation, and leadership. Ethnographic studies indicate that upon entry into
junior high, adolescents’ concerns with popularity (consensual) soars (e.g., Eder,
1985). Few studies, however, have investigated intrapersonal correlates of consensual
popularity. A notable exception is Hawley (2003), who found low to modest correla-
tions between perceived popularity and rejection and self-concept.
The present study was designed in order to further our understanding of the asso-
ciations among young adolescents’ interpersonal behavioral repertoires, social status,
and intrapersonal functioning. Thus, we intend to answer the following research
questions. To what extent do the behavioral constellations associated with the two
aforementioned types of popularity differ? In addition, how does the intrapersonal
functioning vary as a function of popularity (consensual and sociometric)? In order
to do so, we investigated a large sample of young adolescents who have recently
experienced a major ecological transition (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), namely, entry into
secondary school.
Peer Popularity
Traditional sociometric classification (e.g., Asher, 1990; Coie et al., 1982) identifies
‘popular’ individuals by asking a group of children (e.g., classmates) to nominate peers
whom they like most and those whom they like least or to name their three best friends
and three children whom they would not want as friends. Based on this information,
each child is awarded two scores: social preference (the z-score of best/most-liked-
friend nominations minus the z-score of least/fewest-liked-friend nominations) and
social impact (the z-score of best/most-liked-friend nominations plus the z-score
of least/fewest-liked-friend nominations). Popular adolescents are those with high
best/most-liked-friend scores and low least/fewest-liked-friend scores. Other status
categories are rejected (low best/most-liked/friend, high least/fewest-liked/friend),
controversial (zero social preference, high social impact), neglected (zero social
preference and zero social impact), and average (the remainder). However, several
researchers have pointed out that popular adolescents classified by traditional socio-
metric methods might not be popular as defined by group consensus on ‘popularity’
(Babad, 2001; Parkhurst & Hopmeyer, 1998). For instance, Parkhurst and Hopmeyer
(1998) asked adolescents to name three peers whom they thought were most popular.
In general, moderate correlations have been found between the two methods of clas-
sification. In other words, sociometrically popular adolescents were not necessarily
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Popularity in Early Adolescence 557
consensually popular (for a notable exception, see Prinstein & Cillessen [2003] who
reported a correlation of 0.80 for boys). Also, many consensually popular adolescents
have often been classified as sociometrically controversial. Babad (2001) demon-
strated that only 9 per cent of children received high scores on both types of ratings,
and more than 20 per cent of the children were classified as high on consensual popu-
larity yet only moderately liked (and vice versa). In sum, there appears to be a trend
among developmental and social psychologists to investigate consensual popularity as
a construct with more vivid psychological meaning to adolescents and thus increased
ecological validity (Babad, 2001; Brown, 2004).
Correlates of Popularity
The behavioral correlates of sociometrically popular children are well established
(Rubin, Bukowski & Parker, 1998). In general, sociometrically popular children tend
to be friendly, sociable, and cooperative (e.g., Newcomb & Bukowski, 1983;
Newcomb, Bukowksi & Pattee, 1993; Rubin et al., 1998). In contrast, rejected chil-
dren tend to be overly aggressive (e.g., Cillessen, Van IJzendoorn, Van Lieshout &
Hartup, 1992; Coie & Kupersmidt, 1983), less prosocial, irresponsible, and relatively
poor academic achievers (e.g., Wentzel, 1995, 2003).
Only recently have studies begun to describe and theorize regarding links between
interpersonal behavioral variables and consensual popularity. Boyatzis, Baloff, and
Durieux (1998) showed that hypothetical peers, who were described as attractive, were
judged as more popular than unattractive peers. LaFontana and Cillessen (1999)
demonstrated that traits attributed to hypothetical peers differed between peers
described as popular versus unpopular. Unpopular hypothetical peers received unani-
mously negative traits; popular peers received a mixture of positive and negative traits.
These findings were replicated in studies on consensual popularity ratings of real
peers. For instance, Luthar and McMahon (1996) found that consensual popular ado-
lescents were described by a mixture of prosocial and aggressive/disruptive behaviors.
Other studies indicated that consensually popular adolescents displayed relatively high
levels of aggression and low levels of prosocial behavior (Parkhurst & Hopmeyer,
1998). More recently, developmental researchers have assimilated findings from
ethnographic studies into theorizing on the phenomenology of consensual popularity.
For instance, Hawley (2003) showed that children who tend to use prosocial or bi-
strategic (i.e., prosocial and coercive) strategies in order to get what they wanted were
rated high on consensual popularity. In other words, some consensual children seemed
to charm their way; others coerced their way. Eder’s (1985) study on the cycle of popu-
larity supports the notion that these children are quite aware of when to use which
strategy. Ethologists have also described consensual popular individuals in a mixture
of prosocial and aggressive–coercive behavior, albeit from a social dominance per-
spective (e.g., De Waal, 1986; Long & Pellegrini, 2003; Pellegrini, 2001; Pellegrini &
Bartini, 2001). The social dominance theory states that aggression and affiliation
are behavioral tools used to acquire certain resources such as toys or partners (e.g.,
Hawley, 2003; Long & Pellegrini, 2003; Pellegrini & Long, 2002, 2003). Although
not investigated in the current study, it must be noted that consensually popular
children differ from rejected children in the type of aggression displayed. The former
tend to use instrumental aggression; the latter are more prone to reactive and unre-
stricted/unprovoked aggressive behaviors (Hawley, 2003; Little, Brauner, Jones, Nock
& Hawley, 2003).
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
558 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
Apart from a typical behavioral repertoire, consensual popularity status also tends
to be equated with attractiveness and style of clothing. For instance, LaFontana and
Cillessen (2002) revealed that the better-looking adolescents with more spending
power tended to be more popular. Weisfeld, Bloch, and Ivers (1984) also showed that
girls and boys acquired high consensual popularity status mainly through fashionable
appearance and attractiveness.
This paragraph elucidated some of the behavioral correlates of sociometric and con-
sensual popularity. These correlates, appearance, antisocial, and prosocial behaviors,
will be included in the present inquiry.
Social Self-esteem and Peer Role Strain
At the intrapersonal or individual level, children’s sociometric popularity status has
been related to several indices of psychosocial functioning, notably, self-esteem (e.g.,
Chambliss et al., 1978) and peer role strain (e.g., Fenzel, 2000). Self-esteem is an
important psychological barometer of personal well-being in early adolescence (e.g.,
Harter, Bresnick, Bouchey & Whitesell, 1997; Harter, Waters & Whitesell, 1998).
Studies showed that early adolescents are extremely preoccupied with peer approval
(Harter, 1990), acceptance, and popularity (Eder, 1985). In fact, Harter (1990) dis-
cerned that self-esteem was affected more by approval and disapproval from class-
mates in general rather than from close friends. Approval from classmates, however,
can be expressed in several ways such as social preference (i.e., having many friends)
and consensual popularity status (i.e., being considered popular). Social preference is
a direct indicator of a child’s likability and thus an obvious sign of peer approval.
Indeed, links have been found between social preference and self-esteem (Chambliss
et al., 1978; Simon, 1972). Another indicator of peer approval is the level of role strain
that a child experiences within a peer group (Fenzel, 1989, 2000). Role strain may be
defined as the amount of stress that a person experiences from occupying a certain
position or role in a specific context (e.g., Goode, 1960). At school, early adolescents
fulfill the role of student, classmate, and friend. Each of these roles is accompanied
by a unique set of expectations and rules. After the transition into secondary school,
the early adolescent is now faced with the particular harsh reality of a new building,
new teachers, novel teaching and grading methods, and vastly increased amounts of
homework. But more importantly, the children find themselves in a group of up to 30
unfamiliar classmates. Considering that these children come from up to two dozen
different primary ‘seed’ schools, it is very unlikely that previous friends or acquain-
tances end up in the same classroom. Not surprisingly, a relationship has been found
between the experienced peer role strain and levels of self-worth (Fenzel, 2000). In
other words, children who experienced difficulties in coping with the newly found peer
role displayed decreased levels of self-esteem.
However, the question less frequently asked is: How do peer acceptance and self-
esteem relate to each other? Is self-esteem perhaps mediated through peer role strain?
Furthermore, what are the consequences of being consensually popular upon self-
esteem? And is the link between consensual popularity and self-esteem mediated by
peer role strain?
The present study purports to answer these questions by investigating the concep-
tual model displayed in Figure 1. With regard to the proposed model, two hypotheses
were generated.
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Popularity in Early Adolescence 559
First, it was expected that the two measures of social position, social preference and
consensual popularity, would be associated with a different constellation of behavioral
characteristics. Considering the nature of social preference, i.e., maintaining friend-
ships and being liked, we expected this measure to be predicted by prosocial beha-
viors such as cooperation, keeping promises, and sharing. In addition, we expected
antisocial behaviors, such as fighting, lying, and being mean, to reduce children’s
levels of likability. Because previous research has found that consensually popular
children were at least moderately liked by peers, we also expected consensual popu-
larity to predict social preference (Babad, 2001; Parkhurst & Hopmeyer, 1998). Con-
sensual popularity predictors were expected to differ from likability predictors. For
instance, Weisfeld et al. (1984) found that fashion played a prominent role in domi-
nance hierarchies. In theory, dominance, consensual popularity, and prestige are all
governed by similar status-organizing processes (Berger, Rosenholtz & Zelditch,
1980). Succinctly put, these processes occur when characteristics of peers become the
basis of hierarchical status organization. Therefore, we expected style of clothing to
be as important to consensual popularity as it appears to be to dominance. In the light
of previous studies on consensual status and aggression (e.g., Cillessen & Mayeux,
2004), we expected these children to display antisocial behaviors such as fighting and
meanness. In addition, we expected children with many friends to be consensually
popular.
Second, it was postulated that the two indices of social position (social preference
and consensual popularity) would predict self-esteem by reducing peer role strain.
Eder (1985) suggested that early adolescents are extremely concerned with issues of
acceptance and popularity, that is, actions and reactions of classmates toward the indi-
vidual child by means of isolation, rejection, or ostracism. In fact, Eder found that,
for adolescent females at least, the desire to be well liked exceeded their concern with
academic success. Harter (1990) also argued that self-concept is influenced by the atti-
tudes of significant others (such as classmates) concerning acceptance. Thus, it was
hypothesized that consensually popular children with many friends would experience
low levels of peer role strain, which, in turn, would be associated with high levels of
self-esteem.
In order to investigate these hypotheses, a large group of early adolescents in
their first year of secondary school were studied. We expected these children, being
in a relative state of ‘shock and awe’ as a consequence of having experienced an
ecological transition, to be particularly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of classmate
behavior.
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Behavioral
characteristics Popularity
Self-esteem
Peer role strain
Figure 1. Conceptual Model of Behavior, Popularity, and Self-esteem.
560 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
Method
Participants
The participants were 779 students from 33 classrooms of six different pre-university
tracked schools in the cities of Amsterdam, Delft, and Amersfoort. The Dutch educa-
tional system tracks children from their first day in secondary school, based upon a
standardized aptitude test and the primary school headteachers’ recommendation. In
order to gain entrance to a pre-university tracked school, the students must perform
above average. Approximately 39 per cent of Dutch children are enrolled in this track;
all other children attend lower tracking levels. The students represented the complete
first-year cohort of each school. There were 382 boys (49 per cent) and 397 girls from
predominately middle-class families. The average age of the children was 13.05 years
(SD =.44). The ethnic composition of the sample was 84 per cent Dutch, 6 per cent
Surinamese, 2 per cent Moroccan, 2 per cent Turkish, and 26 other nationalities com-
prising the remainder. The parents were informed regarding the purpose of the study
and told that participation was not obligatory. One parent withdrew her child from the
study. All remaining children participated in the study. Therefore, the final Nfor all
analyses was 778.
Procedure
Data were collected in early spring. Research assistants in Educational Sciences at the
University of Amsterdam administered questionnaires during study periods. The ado-
lescents were told that their answers would be confidential, and participation was not
compulsory. No child refused to participate. If a child was ill or absent, the question-
naire was administered at the next opportune moment.
Measures
Nomination Procedure. The children were presented with a list of classmates. For
each characteristic (see below), the children were required to indicate three classmates
who displayed this characteristic ‘least’ and three classmates who displayed this
characteristic ‘most’. Nominating children at each end of the spectrum allows for the
identification of children who may reside at the lower end of each characteristic, thus
providing a more complete picture of behavioral and status repertoire of individual
children. All nominations were restricted to the child’s own classroom, and cross-
gender nominations were allowed. Although children in the participating schools
generally share break time and lunchtime in common areas, the vast majority of school
time (six to seven hours daily) is spent with children from their own classroom. Mixed
classroom activities were extremely rare.
Social Preference. Social preference scores were determined by asking the children
to nominate three peers whom they consider their best friends and three peers with
whom they would never be friends. Cross-gender nominations were allowed. In the
present study, boys received 56 per cent of ‘never my friend’ nominations versus 49
per cent of ‘best friend’ nominations, indicating many cross-gender choices for the
former category. Therefore, all nominations were standardized within the full class-
room, not for genders separately. Each child received a social preference score by
subtracting the number of least-friend nominations received from the number of
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Popularity in Early Adolescence 561
best-friend nominations and standardizing within the classroom to a mean of 0 and a
standard deviation of 1.
Consensual Popularity. Consensual popularity scores were obtained by a nomination
procedure. The children were then asked to provide three names in response to the
question ‘Which children are the most popular in your class?’ and three names in
response to ‘Which children are the least popular in your class?’ For each child, a con-
sensual popularity score was determined by subtracting least popular from most
popular nominations and standardizing within the classroom to a mean of 0 and a stan-
dard deviation of 1.
Behavioral Correlates of Popularity. Measures were obtained from classmates on
behavioral correlates of popularity such as appearance, antisocial, and prosocial
behaviors. For appearance, the term ‘dresses hip’ was used. Sociological studies have
pointed out the prominence of fashion in early adolescence and particularly so in the
domain of status acquisition and maintenance (e.g., Brown, Lohr & McLenahan, 1986;
Kness & Densmore, 1976). Antisocial behaviors consisted of ‘lies’, ‘fights’, ‘is mean’,
‘gossips’, and ‘is angry’. Prosocial behaviors were ‘shares’, ‘cooperates’, ‘makes up
after quarrel’, and ‘keeps promises’. These antisocial and prosocial behaviors repre-
sent the spectrum of determinants of likability and consensual popularity from pre-
vious studies (e.g., Babad, 2001; Luthar & McMahon, 1996). An additional behavioral
characteristic was introduced, namely, ‘boring’. To our knowledge, ‘boring’ has never
been used as a descriptor in popularity studies. Through informal discussions with
children of this age group, this descriptor was mentioned often as being characteris-
tic of consensually unpopular children. Also, boring has been shown to relate to in-
group and out-group differentiation (Tarrant, 2002; Tarrant, North & Hargreaves,
2001). In addition, consensually popular children have been shown to be very active
in extracurricular activities and of high social centrality (e.g., Farmer et al., 2003).
Thus, it is expected that ‘being boring’ may be a distinguishing aspect of low con-
sensual popularity. The adolescents were required to supply three names of classmates
who display each behavior ‘most’ and three names of classmates who display these
behaviors ‘least’. For each child, the number of ‘least’ nominations was subtracted
from ‘most’ nominations and standardized within a classroom to a mean of 0 and a
standard deviation of 1.
Peer Role Strain. The students completed the Early Adolescent Role Strain Inventory
(EASRI) (Fenzel, 1989, 2000). The EASRI is a 27-item scale used to assess the type
and magnitude of school-related role strains. It distinguishes four subscales, each per-
taining to a potential source of strain: peer (eight items), school (seven items), teacher
relations (five items), and parent control (six items). For the current study, only the
peer role strain subscale was used. For each item, the students indicated how they per-
ceived peer behavior on a scale of 1 to 5 (not at all and a lot, respectively). The eight
items comprising the peer role strain subscale were ‘classmates ignore me’, ‘class-
mates are mean to me’, ‘classmates laugh at me’, ‘classmates hit me’, ‘classmates do
not team with me’, ‘classmates do not work with me’, ‘classmates do not invite me’,
and ‘classmates laugh at me when I do well’.
Social Self-esteem. Social self-esteem was obtained by the administration of the
Social Acceptance subscale of the Self-perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter,
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
562 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
1982). This scale contains five items, which assess an individual’s perception of their
level of acceptance and popularity among peers. The children had to choose between
two statements (e.g., some children are popular among classmates/some children are
not popular among classmates). The students then indicated whether they found the
chosen item to be true a little or true a lot. Subsequently, the items were rescored on
a scale of 1 to 4, a high score indicating a higher level of self-esteem. The five items
of the social acceptance scale were ‘some children are liked by few/many’ or ‘some
children have many/few friends’, ‘some children make friends easily/with difficulty’,
‘some children are popular/unpopular’, and ‘some children are accepted by
few/many’.
Results
First, descriptive statistics will be presented of peer role strain and self-esteem. Then,
regression analyses will be conducted in order to determine the relative contributions
of the behavioral correlates to the two types of popularity (sociometric and consen-
sual) and the relative contribution of the two types of popularity on peer role strain
and self-esteem levels.
Descriptive Statistics
Means, standard deviations, and scale reliabilities of peer role strain and social self-
esteem are displayed in Table 1.
Correlates of Sociometric and Consensual Popularity. Intercorrelations among all
measures are shown in Table 2. A high positive correlation was found between con-
sensual popularity and dressing hip and between consensual popularity and boring.
Social preference scores were correlated positively with dressing hip, cooperating,
sharing, making up after a quarrel, and keeping promises, all ranging from medium
to large in magnitude.
Also, social preferences correlated negatively with lying, meanness, being angry,
and being boring, also in the moderate range. In addition, a moderate positive cor-
relation was found between social preference and consensual popularity.
Correlates of Peer Role Strain and Self-esteem. Moderate negative correlations were
found between consensual popularity and peer role strain and social preference and
peer role strain. Moderate positive correlations were found between consensual popu-
larity and self-esteem and social preference and peer role strain. Peer role strain was
moderately correlated to levels of self-esteem.
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Table 1. Range, Means, Standard Deviations, and
Scale Alpha Reliabilities of Peer Role Strain and
Self-worth
Variable Range MSDAlpha
Peer role strain 1–5 1.62 .60 .80
Self-worth 1–4 3.11 .61 .71
Popularity in Early Adolescence 563
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Table 2. Intercorrelations between Variables in the Study
1234567891011121314
1. Dresses hip
2. Fights .18
3. Gossips .38 .43
4. Lies .14 .67 .64
5. Mean .08 .70 .56 .73
6. Angry .00 .73 .45 .64 .74
7. Cooperates .19 -.53 -.35 -.63 -.65 -.60
8. Shares .26 -.32 -.17 -.41 -.47 -.40 .57
9. Makes up after quarrel .12 -.53 -.30 -.56 -.62 -.61 .60 .51
10. Boring -.75 -.30 -.39 -.22 -.16 -.08 -.14 -.24 -.10
11. Keeps promises .07 -.54 -.42 -.72 -.68 -.58 .71 .52 .60 .00
12. Consensual popularity .81 .36 .43 .26 .23 .14 .08 .18 .02 -.81 -.07
13. Sociometric popularity .52 -.23 -.11 -.34 -.40 -.42 .59 .53 .50 -.49 .48 .48
14. Social self-esteem .38 .20 .24 .14 .11 .05 .05 .05 .03 -.42 -.02 .42 .21
15. Peer role strain -.36 .07 -.12 .04 .08 .12 -.26 -.19 -.15 .33 -.13 -.34 -.36 -.48
Note: All r.12 and r£-.12, significant at p<.001.
564 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
In order to investigate the relative contribution of behavioral characteristics on the
two types of popularity and, in turn, the two types of popularity and peer role strain
on self-esteem, a series of statistical regression analyses were conducted (Tabachnick
& Fidell, 2001).
Regression Analysis on Sociometric Popularity. A method called statistical regression
was employed (also called stepwise regression). This method produces a regression
equation based solely on statistical criteria. Following Tabachnick and Fidell’s (2001)
recommendation of cross-validation, the current sample was randomly split in 80 and
20 per cent portions. The 80 per cent portion was used to produce a regression equa-
tion by employing a statistical regression method. Predictor values from the 20 per
cent portion were entered into this equation resulting in a set of predicted outcome
values. Subsequent correlation between the predicted and actual observed values indi-
cated a high validity of the regression method employed (r=.79). Table 3 shows the
regression coefficients, standard errors, standardized betas, change in adjusted R2, and
structure coefficients.
Sociometric popularity was predicted by cooperation (35 per cent of the adjusted
variance) and consensual popularity (19 per cent of the variance). Other predictors
were being mean (4 per cent), making up after a quarrel (2 per cent), and sharing,
being angry, keeping promises, and being boring (all 1 per cent or less). The effect
sizes of gossiping and dressing hip were insufficient to warrant significance.
The total adjusted variance explained of sociometric popularity was 64 per cent. In
other words, children with many friends exhibited a repertoire of positive behaviors,
such as cooperation, conciliation, sharing, and few negative behaviors, such as anger
and meanness. In addition, they were regarded as consensually popular and not boring.
Regression Analysis on Consensual Popularity. Cross-validation by split halving into
80 and 20 per cent portions and subsequent correlation analysis between predicted and
observed values indicated a high validity of the regression method employed (r>.90).
Regression coefficients, standard errors, standardized betas, change in adjusted R2, and
structure coefficients are presented in Table 4.
The analysis revealed that dressing hip, not being boring, fighting, and social
preference were significant predictors of consensual popularity. By far the most im-
portant of these was dress style, which alone predicted 66 per cent of the variance.
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Table 3. Summary of Stepwise Regression Analysis on Consensual Popularity
Variable B SE B bDR2rs
Dresses hip .43 .03 .43*** .66 .91
Boring -.34 .03 -.34*** .09 -.91
Fights .15 .03 .15*** .02 .41
Social preference .19 .02 .19*** .01 .55
Keeps promises -.07 .02 -.07** .00 -.07
Mean .06 .03 .05* .00 .24
Note: rs=structure coefficient.
*p<.05, ** p<.01, *** p<.001.
Popularity in Early Adolescence 565
Being boring, fighting, and sociometric popularity accounted for 9, 2, and 1 per cent
additional variance, respectively. Although keeping promises and meanness were
statistically significant predictors, inspection of structure coefficients (Courville
& Thompson, 2001) and effect sizes (Wilkinson & the Task Force on Statistical
Inference, 1999) indicated a nonsignificant contribution. The total adjusted variance
explained of consensual popularity was 78 per cent. In sum, children who were judged
consensually popular were hip dressers, not boring, aggressive, and highly popular
sociometrically.
Regression on Peer Role Strain and Self-esteem. Tables 5 and 6 show the regression
coefficients, standard errors, standardized betas, change in adjusted R2, and structure
coefficients. Sociometric and consensual popularity both contributed significantly to
levels of peer role strain (see Table 5). The total variance explained by peer role strain
was 17 per cent.
Self-esteem levels were predicted by peer role strain, sociometric, and consensual
popularity. Sociometric popularity explained only 1 per cent of the variance of self-
esteem. In contrast, consensual popularity explained 7 per cent of the variance of self-
esteem. The total variance explained of self-esteem was 31 per cent. In short, children
who felt good regarding their social selves tended to be consensually popular and
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Table 4. Summary of Stepwise Regression Analysis on Sociometric Popularity
Variable B SE B bDR2rs
Cooperates .18 .04 .18*** .35 .74
Consensual popular .32 .04 .32*** .19 .61
Mean -.07 .04 -.08* .04 -.51
Makes up after quarrel .10 .03 .10** .02 .64
Shares .12 .03 .13*** .01 .66
Angry -.10 .03 -.10*** .01 -.54
Keeps promises .11 .04 .11** .01 .62
Boring -.15 .04 -.15*** .01 -.62
Gossips -.09 .03 -.09*** .00 -.14
Dresses hip .10 .03 .10** .00 .65
Note: rs=structure coefficient.
*p<.05, ** p<.01, *** p<.001.
Table 5. Summary of Stepwise Regression Analysis on Peer Role Strain
Variable B SE B bDR2rs
Social preference -.16 .02 -.25*** .13 -.88
Consensual popularity -.14 .02 -.22*** .04 -.84
Note: rs=structure coefficient.
*** p<0.001.
566 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
experienced low levels of peer role strain. In order to clarify the hypothesized model,
standardized beta weights are depicted in Figure 2.
Only paths with beta weights significant at p<.05 and with an effect size exceed-
ing 1 per cent explained variances are shown. The total explained variance of each
outcome variable is shown in brackets.
Discussion
The present study was designed to investigate the behavioral correlates and individual
consequences of two types of popularity: sociometric and consensual. In addition,
associations between the two types of popularity and self-esteem were investigated.
Results indicated that sociometrically popular children were best described as con-
sensually popular individuals equipped with the right friendship-maintenance tools,
such as a cooperative and sharing attitude and lack of meanness. Consensually popular
children were typified as sartorially eloquent individuals displaying elevated levels of
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Table 6. Summary of Stepwise Regression Analysis on Social Self-esteem
Variable B SE B bDR2rs
Peer role strain -.41 .03 -.40*** .23 -.86
Consensual popularity .20 .02 .32*** .07 .75
Social preference -.06 .02 -.10** .01 .37
Note: rs=structure coefficient.
** p<.01, *** p<.001.
Dresses hip
Gossips
Cooperates
Mean
Angry
Fights
Makes up after quarrel
Boring
Keeps promises
Shares
Sociometric
popularity
(63%)
Consensual
popularity
(79%)
Social self-
esteem
(31%)
Role strain
(16%)
.18
–.08
–.10 .10
–.15
.11 .13
.43
.15
–.34
.19
.32
–.10
.32
–.40
–.25
–.22
Figure 2. Results from Multiple Regression Analyses (b-values) of Consensual and
Sociometric Popularity, Role Strain, and Social Self-esteem.
Popularity in Early Adolescence 567
aggression. Furthermore, the two types of popularity each contributed to self-esteem
in idiosyncratic ways. Social preference seemed to be linked to self-esteem indirectly
through reduction of peer role strain. Consensual popularity, however, possessed a
direct positive association with self-esteem.
Characteristics of Popularity
The findings on the behavioral correlates of sociometric popularity confirmed pre-
vious studies. Sociometrically popular children exhibited the qualities one would
generally expect from likable children: cooperation, the ability to forgive and to keep
promises, and a sharing attitude. They also tended not to be mean or overly angry.
Also, consensual popularity levels contributed substantially to sociometric popularity.
In other words, children who were consensually popular tended to be more likable.
This confirmed previous findings by, for example, Parkhurst and Hopmeyer (1998).
This finding should not be surprising given the fact that, in many parts of society,
people tend to admire and befriend those considered popular.
The statistical picture painted for consensual popularity differed considerably from
sociometric popularity. Consensually popular children were the trendsetters and fit the
adage that ‘clothes make the man’. Being recognized as such by the peer group, these
children tended to report high levels of self-esteem. Apparently, these children com-
prehended the status mechanisms of early adolescence in the twenty-first century: the
so-called MTV generation. Judging by the abundance of magazines and other media
covering dress codes and sartorial dos and do nots, consensually popular children have
successfully integrated the reigning cultural dress norms. Sociologists and ethologists
would explain this phenomenon in terms of status, prestige, and dominance (e.g.,
Adams & Roopnarine, 1994; Krantz, 1982, 1987; Savin-Williams, 1976, 1977, 1979,
1980; Weisfeld, Bloch & Ivers, 1983). These three phenomena are firmly rooted in a
rich ecological research tradition (e.g., Benoit-Smullyan, 1944; Berger et al., 1980;
Keislar, 1953; Weisfeld et al., 1983, 1984). Dominant individuals tend to be more
attractive, outgoing, and highly visible. Over half a century ago, Benoit-Smullyan
(1944) provided us with a particularly astute definition of status as the position in a
hierarchy ordered ‘with respect to the comparative degree to which (individuals)
possess or embody some socially approved or generally desired attribute or charac-
teristic’ (p. 151). He identified three types of status: economic, political, and prestige.
The latter seems most pertinent to the phenomenon at hand, namely, sartorial in-
fluence on popularity. A person with prestige, according to Benoit-Smullyan, is an
object of admiration, deference and imitation, a source of suggestion, and the center
of attraction. These characteristics were inextricably linked to consensually popular
adolescents in the present study. It seems fair to assume that sartorial effort is aimed
at acquiring admiration and imitation. In addition, consensually popular children tend
to be the opposite of boring, thereby placing themselves at the center of attraction.
Furthermore, through fighting, they enforce a certain degree of deference among their
peers.
The importance of fashion is not new. Simmel (1957) eloquently described the
various functions and origins of fashion. He pointed out that ‘fashion is merely a
product of social demands. It is a product of class distinction and operates like a num-
ber of other forms, honor especially, the double function of which consists in revol-
ving within a given circle and at the same time emphasizing it separate from others’
(p. 544). He also suggested that fashion raises even the unimportant individuals by
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
568 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
making them the representative of a class, in this case the dominant class. If so, then
Dion’s (1973) statement on beauty should perhaps read ‘what is fashionable is good’
(Dion, 1973; Dion & Berscheid, 1974) instead of ‘what is beautiful is good’. Simmel
(1957) even provided an explanation avant la lettre for the observed moderate link
between popularity and likability: ‘the fashionable person is regarded with mixed feel-
ings of approval and envy; we envy him as an individual, but approve of him as a
member of a set or group’ (p. 548). In other words, fashionable children are imitated
by some, but scorned by others. But why would some children reject sartorially
obsessed peers? Recall that the current research population consisted entirely of
pre-university children of above-average intelligence and talents. They are expected
to invest in academia, and an exaggerated interest in dress codes may not be a top
priority to some of the children. In addition, although not explicitly measured in the
present study, it is quite likely that sartorially dominant children tend to form cliques
with concomitant in-group and out-group mechanics. Oftentimes, these cliques of
dominant children tend to be regarded as ‘stuck up’ (Merten, 1997), indicating a
certain level of dislike toward members of these cliques. Also, Eder’s (1985) account
of the cyclical nature of consensual popularity underscores the delicate balance
between rejection and acceptance by the ‘elite’clique. Being suddenly rejected by this
clique, after an initial period of acceptance, may well have led to extreme feelings
of jealousy and envy, and thus may have elicited negative likability and friendship
nominations.
Popularity and Self-esteem
It appeared that consensual popularity and likability are linked to self-esteem in idio-
syncratic ways. Likability, that is, being judged a good friend and not rejected by peers,
seemed to be linked to self-esteem mostly through the reduction of peer strain levels.
Peer strain reflects peer behavior toward an individual. The items comprising the sub-
scale of the EASRI revolve around peer displays of rejection and disaffection. Not
surprisingly, likable children received low levels of peer rejection and enjoyed high
levels of affection. In turn, being invited to classmates’ homes, being noticed, etc.
appeared catalysts for feeling wanted, accepted, and liked. Likable children are also
less likely to experience ‘hassles’, and reduced peer strain levels reflect this (e.g.,
Bobo, Gilchrist, Elmer, Snow & Schinke, 1986).
The contribution of consensual status to self-esteem levels (both directly and indi-
rectly through peer role strain) underscores the importance of being at the apex of the
group to intra-individual functioning. Ethnographic studies (e.g., Adler & Adler, 1995;
Eder, 1985) have revealed the extreme importance, at least to some youngsters, of
belonging to the apex. Simply put, being on top makes one feel good. However, this
mechanism is not without risks. For instance, the self-worth theory proclaims that the
search for self-acceptance is the highest human priority (e.g., Covington, 1984, 1992).
If so, some adolescents may become obsessed by consensual popularity ratings. If, as
the present study shows, clothing is highly associated with consensual popularity, these
youngsters may end up being more concerned with their attire than with schoolwork,
for instance. Future studies should therefore look at some of the potential negative
aspects of consensual popularity.
The question remains, however, why such a small link is encountered between
likability and self-esteem (1 per cent of the variance). Part of the explanation may
be found in the operationalization of likability. Likability is a substitute for social
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
Popularity in Early Adolescence 569
preference. The latter is defined as the difference between best- and least-friend nomi-
nations. It stands to reason that high positive scores, that is, having many friends, are
linked to high self-esteem and vice versa, extreme negative scores to low self-esteem.
Children receiving zero-sum scores on social preference, however, can be members
of two vastly different social categories: neglected or controversial. The social impact
of these two types of children differs considerably. Neglected children, as the term
implies, are simply not noticed enough by peers to warrant acceptance or rejection.
Nevertheless, neglected children generally exhibit above-average social and academic
behavior (e.g., Wentzel, 1995, 2003). Thus, for neglected children, although they score
neutral on social acceptance, low self-esteem levels are not self-evident. Their above-
average performance levels might serve a compensatory purpose and may perhaps
have boosted their self-esteem levels.
Controversial children, on the other hand, receive many nominations of both polari-
ties. It is quite likely that controversial children’s self-esteem is rocked more by the daily
vicissitudes of being simultaneously liked and rejected than neglected children’s. In
addition to social impact, another striking difference seems to exist between contro-
versial and neglected children. Few, if any, neglected children tend to be consensually
popular (Babad, 2001; Parkhurst & Hopmeyer, 1998). In contrast, nearly half of the
controversial children were popular. This vast difference in consensual popularity
scores is not reflected in their respective likability scores. Therefore, an investigation
of only one component of the two-dimensional sociometric system might obfuscate
meaningful relationships between component variables of likability (i.e., social
preference) and individual outcomes (e.g., self-esteem). Future studies should perhaps
present categorical analyses (see, e.g., Cillessen et al., 1992; LaFontana & Cillessen,
2002; Parkhurst & Hopmeyer, 1998; Rodkin, Farmer, Pearl & Van Acker, 2000).
Some limitations of the present study need to be addressed. First, although a strong
link was revealed between dressing hip and consensual popularity, one cannot auto-
matically assume directionality of effect. It could be the case that children, upon notic-
ing their prominence among their peers, will subsequently attempt to consolidate this
position by increasingly fashionable outfits. If so, one important question arises: What
characteristics favored this child in the first place? Weisfeld et al. (1983) addressed
the issue of directionality of effect with respect to dominance and concluded that ‘if
a certain personality trait is relatively permanent, such as physical appearance, and is
consistently related to dominance rank whenever a group forms, it is certainly more
likely that this trait is contributing to dominance than the reverse’ (p. 231). We specu-
late that attractiveness and sartorial expression form an indistinguishable unity, which
emerges somewhere in middle childhood when children become aware of dominance
effects upon peers such as praise, awe, and envy. Longitudinal studies are needed
to delineate the relative weight, stability, and identity of predictors of consensual
popularity.
The predictive model for self-esteem also suffers from the cause–effect dilemma.
We cannot assume that occupying a high dominant rank within a peer group led to
high self-esteem levels. It is equally likely that only children with high self-esteem
possess sufficient self-confidence to dress extremely fashionably and dare to become
trendsetters. As Simmel (1957) noted, being this fashionable is at once an expression
of individuality yet a conformation to certain codes. Being at the vanguard of fashion
is concomitant to risk taking: risk for scorn, laughter, and envy. Thus, self-confidence
is, arguably, a sine qua non for becoming a trendsetter. Longitudinal studies may elu-
cidate the mechanisms of status acquisition and maintenance.
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
570 Eddy H. de Bruyn and Dymphna C. van den Boom
To summarize, we have demonstrated the importance of children’s sartorial expres-
sion in gaining consensual popularity in this study. We also found that not being per-
ceived as boring was significantly related to a high, consensually popular position.
Furthermore, the study also showed the complexity of the relationships among con-
sensual popularity, likability, and self-esteem. Both types of popularity appeared
uniquely linked to self-esteem, underscoring the need for careful and thorough inves-
tigation of early adolescents’ inter- and intrapsychological functioning. Future studies
should perhaps investigate gender differences in precursors and consequences of
consensual popularity status, and its relationship with dominance and aggression. For
instance, Pellegrini and Bartini (2001) found that physical aggression plays a large
role in dominance acquisition among early adolescent boys. Other studies suggest
girls’ use of relational aggression at this age. Do both genders use their respective
forms of aggression to accomplish the same goal, that is, dominance and consensual
popularity?
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Acknowledgments
This research was supported by grant 411-21-501 from the Netherlands Organization for
Scientific Research. We are grateful for the kind participation of pupils from the Pieter
Nieuwland College, S.G. Reigersbos, Stanislas College, S.G. Amersfoortse Berg, S.G.
Gerrit V.D. Veen, and S.G. Damstede.
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005 Social Development, 14, 4, 2005
... This symbol is also linked with the desire to impress others (Prendergast & Wong, 2003). More specifically, this peer pressure is also linked to the popularity that the individuals like to gain (Santor, Messervey, & Kusumakar, 2000), and this popularity is synchronized with the individuals' self-esteem (De Bruyn & Van Den Boom, 2005). In social behaviour, this popularity is known as 'perceived popularity', being connected with visual cues (Gil et al., 2017). ...
... Researchers have consistently found positive associations between popularity and other indicators of social prestige, such as dominance and resource control (Hawley et al., 2008;LaFontana & Cillessen, 2002;Lease et al., 2002) and admiration and leadership (Lease et al., 2002;Puckett et al., 2008), as well as correlations with social competence and self-esteem (de Bruyn & van den Boom, 2005;LaFontana & Cillessen, 2002). Popularity is strongly correlated with physical attractiveness, especially for girls, and with athletic ability in boys (Rose et al., 2011). ...
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The transition to emerging adulthood is accompanied by shifts in social ecology that influence the attributes that garner popularity among peers. The goal of this study was to compare descriptions of popular high school and college peers. Participants were 218 college undergraduates (70% female, mean age 19.6 years) at a large, public Midwestern university. Participants provided descriptions of their popular male and female college peers, and retrospective descriptions of their popular male and female high school peers. Descriptions were coded into one of 11 content categories and rated for their valence. Popular high school students were described in terms of their appearance, wealth, and athletic ability. Popular college students were described in terms of their prosocial behavior, peer interactions, social competencies, and involvement in campus groups. Emerging adulthood may bring a shift in the meaning of popularity toward more prosocial attributes and behaviors that facilitate the development of positive relationships with others.
... In addition to providing information about the norms and values of particular peer groups, understanding the behaviors that garner social status is important because social status can have significant implications for adjustment. At the individual level, being popular has been found to be associated with positive consequences like increased self-esteem, prosocial behavior, and lower depressive symptoms (Cillessen & Mayeux, 2007;de Bruyn & van den Boom, 2005; Troop-Gordon & Ranney, 2014). However, there are also potential negative consequences like increased risky behavior, disruptive behavior, and disengagement in school (Hopmeyer Gorman et al., 2002;Mayeux et al., 2008;Troop-Gordon et al., 2011). ...
Thesis
Early adolescence is characterized by significant change, and for some individuals, declines in academic and social well-being at school. Extant research has grappled with the degree to which different factors drive these declines – is it the significant physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence? Or are declines the result of making a transition from a small, intimate elementary school to a larger and unfamiliar middle school? This dissertation consists of three studies that aim to elucidate how adolescents’ school context and development contribute to their academic and social adjustment at school. As peers become increasingly important and influential for adolescents’ experiences at school, each study includes a focus on how context and development contribute to early adolescents’ relationships with their peers. Thus, the three studies of my dissertation are guided by one overarching question: How does school context contribute to changing peer relations and adjustment in early adolescence? In the first study, I utilized peer nominations to examine the behavioral profiles of high- status youth (i.e., popular and well-liked) across three years in early adolescence among two groups of students: one group who attended an elementary school then transitioned to a larger middle school and another group who attended the same school from kindergarten - eighth grade (Total N = 680). Results indicated that well-liked youth were consistently prosocial and high achieving across development and school context, but that there were some negative shifts in the behaviors of popular youth among the transition group when they made their transition from elementary to middle school. In study 2, using the same sample of youth, I examined the trajectories of students’ self-reported beliefs about the behaviors that lead to social status as well as the implications of these trajectories for students’ classroom engagement. Like the results of the first study, there were similarities between the trajectories of transition and non-transition students, suggesting some normative developmental shifts in the behaviors associated with social status toward aggressive and rebellious behavior, but these maladaptive trends were more pronounced among transition students. In study 3, in a new sample of youth (N = 1,400), I focused on school context more broadly by examining peer dynamics and adjustment among students who were the same developmental age, but they attended schools with different grade structures and timing for when they transitioned from elementary to middle school. Results highlighted the importance of students’ grade span for their academic and social experiences at school; students who were at the top of their grade span (i.e., oldest in their elementary school) reported consistently more positive adjustment than students who were at the bottom or middle grade position of their school. Students’ perceptions of leadership and feelings of anonymity mediated the relations between their grade position at school and their adjustment. Taken together, the three studies of my dissertation enhance our understanding of how both early adolescents’ development and aspects of their school context shape their experiences with peers and subsequent adjustment. Study results highlight a nuanced role of adolescents’ school context for their adjustment and provide reasons to be optimistic during a life stage often characterized by declines. These findings provide potential avenues for how educators of adolescents might cultivate positive peer relationships and patterns of adjustment among their students.
... The struggle lies between the desire to be liked and to fit-in or being pushed aside, thereby becoming an outcast. To be identified as a "popular kid" is a high achievement for many in their youth, as popularity tends to be associated with attractiveness and high social status (De Bruyn & Van Den Boom, 2005). Identity formation and self-esteem are paramount during this time in the life of an adolescent, even when they are not fully aware of it. ...
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Many children of pastors, also called “pastor’s kids”, have difficulty finding a support system during their identity formation. When handling the pressures of being a child of a pastor, they can internalize various labels given to them and believe these labels, including “pastor’s kid”, are fixed. This article introduces a method for clinicians to integrate Narrative and biblio–therapy for adolescent and teenage clients who are children of clergy. After discussing Narrative therapy and the importance of identity formation away from specific labels, this paper addresses how using books along with narrative therapy can be beneficial for adolescent clients. A case example is included for demonstrating the method.
... Maybe students from this type of educational setting are more keen to engage in social activities and focus on being popular in class rather than on pursuit of values encompassed by Achievement category. Affiliation and the need of peer popularity is an important motivator of adolescents' decisions and everyday behaviors (Bruyn, van den Boom, 2005). ...
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The aim of the present study was to analyse the personality traits and value preferences of students from integrated and non-integrated classes. Sixty-nine primary school sixth graders were surveyed (M = 12.45; SD = .58). The group of students attending integrated classes included 38 individuals. The remaining 31 students attended non-integrated classrooms. Personality traits were measured using the Picture-Based Personality Survey for Children (PBPS-C) and value preferences were determined on the basis of the Picture-Based Value Survey for Children (PBVS-C). The results showed that youth from the integrated classes did not differ significantly from their peers from the non-integrated classes in terms of personality traits. In case of values, students from the non-integrated classes cherished values of Universalism more than their peers from the integrated classes. Correlation analyses showed that the patterns of relations between personality traits and preferred values were partially different for the two groups. Nevertheless, a similar pattern of relations was observed in both groups between Openness to Experience and values in the categories of Self-direction and Universalism. https://www.ejournals.eu/Psychologia-Rozwojowa/2020/Numer-4-2020/art/18924/
... To fit in among peers is a crucial part of the adolescent stage (de Bruyn & van den Boom, 2005). Upon transferring, the building of relations with others is considered as an extremely important aspect in adjusting socially in a new school environment (Milner, 2004; as cited by Langenkamp, 2016). ...
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Physical appearance during the transition into adolescence matters for youths’ socioemotional development. This study explored these implications by adding visual data to the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n = 1,049) to test how others’ ratings of youths’ looks (1 = very unattractive to 5 = very attractive) at the beginning (grade 3) and end (grade 9) of this transition shaped their emotional well-being, popularity/likability, and dating/sexual behavior. Results revealed recency effects of grade 9 looks on popularity/likability and dating/sexual behaviors and a lingering amplification effect of grade 3 looks on popularity/likability at the start of high school. Few associations were evident for emotional well-being. Thus, physical appearance offers an important lens for studying adolescent development.
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Objective - The present study was designed to compare online self-disclosure between Polish and Indonesian Facebook users. We expected that Need for Popularity (NfP), Collective Self-Esteem (CSE), perceived network size and diversity, as well as controlling accessibility, will influence online self-disclosure in both countries. Furthermore, we examined the differences in privacy issues. Methodology/Technique - Pearson's correlation and hierarchical regression analysis were performed to address the differences of online self-disclosure regarding independent variables. An Independent t-test was conducted to compare the control of accessibility of profile information between the two countries.Chi-square analysis was carried out to observe the differences in perceived privacy. The sample of this study consisted of 280 Indonesians and 284 Poles. Findings - Indonesians and Poles showed significantly different results when it comes to online self-disclosure, with consideration to psychological determinants. Poles exhibited a higher need to control the accessibility in their profile information, except for information on instant messaging accounts, which was deemed more sensitive for Indonesians. Poles showed a higher level of perceived privacy regarding almost all personal information on their profile page. Novelty - It was very few articles discussing the comparison of the psychological determinants of online self-disclosure and privacy issues between Polish and Indonesian. Type of Paper - Empirical Keywords : Online Self-Disclosure, Need For Popularity, Collective Self-Esteem, Perceived Privacy.
Chapter
Ever since G. Stanley Hall's (1904) seminal work a century ago, peer relationships have been regarded as a central feature of American adolescence. From the early years through the present, researchers have remained decidedly ambivalent about the effects of peers on American adolescents (Berndt, 1999), but few deny the significance of peer relationships and interactions during this stage of life. Do peers comprise a supportive social context that fosters identity and helps to socialize youth into adult roles, or do they form an arena for frivolous and delinquent activity, with patterns of interaction that undermine autonomy and self-esteem? In this chapter I overview some of the major features of peer relations that have occupied researchers' attention over the past 10 or 15 years. Insights emerging from their studies underscore the complexity of adolescent peer relations and clarify the conditions under which peer interactions foster healthy or unhealthy development.
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This study examined three orientations toward the relation between peer approval and global self-worth among young adolescents: (a) Self-worth is based upon peer approval of the self, a looking glass self-orientation; (b) self-worth is viewed as preceding approval from others; and (c) no connection is reported between self-worth and peer approval. A number of liabilities of a looking glass self-orientation were hypothesized and supported by the findings. Participants basing their self-worth on peer approval reported the greatest preoccupation with peer approval, they were most likely to be distracted from their schoolwork by peers (according to teachers' reports), they perceived the greatest fluctuations in both classmate approval and their self-worth, and they reported lower levels of classmate approval (confirmed by teachers) and self-worth, compared to those reporting that self-worth precedes approval. Findings were discussed in terms of the need for a model that will elucidate the precursors of these three orientations and their correlates.
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It is argued that studies of early adolescent peer victimization and bullying should be longitudinal because of the dynamism of this developmental period. Traditional methods for analyzing longitudinal data are inadequate because of the strict data requirements and inflexibility of models. A better alternative is linear mixed models (LMMs) for repeated measures. LMMs have less restrictive data requirements and much flexibility in the type of models that may be specified. Using empirical data from middle school students, it is shown how LMMs can be used to examine three major aspects of change in dominance and bullying. The first is unconditional change, which involves treating the sample as an entire group and modeling the mean trajectories of dominance and bullying over time. The second is conditional change, which involves examining gender differences in mean change of dominance and bullying over time. The third is dynamic change, which involves examining the longitudinal covariation between bullying and dominance controlling for trajectory effects. The algebra of the LMMs is presented from a multilevel perspective assuming a random effects model. The results are discussed in terms of dominance theory and highlight the advantages of the LMM approach to data analysis in the study of adolescent peer victimization and bullying.
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A measure of perceived popularity was obtained from children scoring high and low on Coopersmith's (1967) recently developed Self-esteem Inventory. High self-esteem children perceived themselves as being significantly more popular (p < .02) than low self-esteem children. This finding was interpreted as providing some degree of concurrent validity for Coopersmith's test.