Peer reputation in middle childhood as a predictor of adaptation in adolescence: a seven-year follow-up

Child Dev. 1991 Oct;62(5):991-1007. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1991.tb01585.x.


This investigation examines the predictive significance of peer reputation in elementary school for the quality of adaptation in adolescence. A normative sample (N = 207) of third to sixth graders was administered the Revised Class Play (RCP). Each received 3 scores (Sociability-Leadership, Aggression-Disruption, and Sensitivity-Isolation). 7 years later, 88% of these children and their parents participated in a questionnaire follow-up study utilizing a broad range of adolescent outcome measures (e.g., social and athletic competence, academic performance, behavioral symptoms, well-being). The 3 RCP scores were significantly related to both adolescent competence and psychopathology, supporting the predictive validity of the RCP as well as the continuity of general adaptation. Each dimension of peer reputation had a different pattern of prediction depending on the outcome criteria under consideration, suggesting the importance of a multidimensional approach to peer reputation. Positive peer reputation proved to be an important predictor of later adjustment. Sex differences were examined; results suggested somewhat different patterns of prediction for boys and girls, especially for the sensitive-isolated dimension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Personality Development*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Social Desirability*
  • Sociometric Techniques