Individual-group behavioral similarity and peer status in experimental play groups of boys: the social misfit revisited

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1995 Aug;69(2):269-79. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.69.2.269.


This study evaluated individual-group similarity and dissimilarity hypotheses generally stipulating that the behavioral correlates of status are moderated by the peer group context in which they are displayed. Thirty play groups of 5 or 6 unacquainted same-age boys participated in five 45-min sessions. Five behaviors described group and individual characteristics: reactive aggression, proactive aggression, solitary play, rough-and-tumble play, and positive interactive behavior. Individual social preference scores were computed following a variant of the J. D. Coie and K. A. Dodge (1983) procedure. The behavioral correlates of emerging peer status were examined as a function of the group's behavioral norms. Evidence of a dissimilarity effect was found for solitary play and reactive aggression whereas positive interactive behavior followed a rule of similarity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Social Behavior*