Behavior patterns of socially rejected and neglected preadolescents: the roles of social approach and aggression

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1982 Sep;10(3):389-409. doi: 10.1007/BF00912329.


Sociometric nominations were used to select groups of popular, average, rejected, and neglected third- and fifth-grade children. In two studies, the peer interactive behaviors of these children were naturalistically observed in their classrooms and on the playground. In contrast to popular children, rejected children displayed fewer task-appropriate behaviors and more task-inappropriate and aggressive behaviors. Whereas rejected children prosocially approached peers as frequently as did popular children, peer responses to the approaches of rejected children were more likely to be negative. Neglected children, on the other hand, displayed relatively few task-inappropriate and aggressive behaviors, and socially approached peers infrequently. Their approaches also met with frequent rebuff by peers. The findings were discussed in terms of the behavioral bases of sociometric status. Suggestions were made for clinical researchers interested in behavioral change with rejected and neglected children.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Rejection, Psychology*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Alienation*
  • Social Environment