Children's Interpersonal Perceptions as a Function of Sociometric and Peer-Perceived Popularity

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This study extends previous research on the distinction between sociometric popularity and peer-perceived popularity among middle school children. The accuracy and consensus of children's perceptions regarding popularity were examined. A sample of 135 4th- and 5th-grade children (81 girls and 54 boys) answered questions about whom they liked, whom they disliked, who they believed was popular, and who they believed was unpopular in their class. Consistent with past research, results showed a discrepancy between classifications based on sociometric popularity and those based on peer-perceived popularity. Furthermore, girls demonstrated somewhat higher levels of accuracy than boys in identifying who was perceived as popular or unpopular by the class, and unpopular children evidenced less consensus with the rest of the class in whom they liked and disliked. Results are discussed in terms of the predictive utility of the alternative form of classification based on children's perceived status rather than sociometric status in the group.


Published: LaFontana, K. and A. H. N. Cillessen. "Children's Interpersonal Perceptions as a Function of Sociometric and Peer-Perceived Popularity." Journal of Genetic Psychology 160.2 (1999): 225-242.