Multiple sources of data on social behavior and social status in the school: a cross-age comparison

Child Dev. 1988 Jun;59(3):815-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1988.tb03237.x.


Behavioral data relating to peer social status were collected from peers, teachers, and observers on both first- and third-grade boys (ages 6-7 and 8-9 years, respectively). Peer and teacher ratings had greater intermethod agreement than observer data, although all 3 sources provided evidence that rejected and controversial boys were more aggressive than other boys. However, relatively little aggression was observed among the older boys, indicating that peers and teachers may be better sources of information about aggression in this group. Observational data differentiated among status groups on measures of activity (on task vs. off-task, and prosocial play vs. solitary activity) for both age groups. Rejected boys displayed little prosocial behavior according to peers and teachers, but were not less often engaged in prosocial play, according to observers. Neglected boys were the most solitary group during play; however, teachers rated rejected boys as the most solitary, contrary to observations. Controversial boys were seen as highly aggressive by all sources but as highly prosocial only by peers and observers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Rejection, Psychology
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Desirability*
  • Teaching