The effect of perceived social status on preschool children's evaluations of behaviour

Walker, Susan & Irving, Kym A. (1998) The effect of perceived social status on preschool children's evaluations of behaviour. Australian Research in Early Childhood Education, 1, pp. 94-103.


The extent to which a preschool child's social status or reputation, once established, affects peer perception of his or her subsequent behaviour was investigated. Of additional interest were possible sex differences in social information processing. Sixty-two preschool children rated both a popular and an unpopular hypothetical peer's involvement in negative interactions along the dimensions of locus of control, intent, and stability. Results indicated that preschool children's evaluations of their peers varied as a function of the target child's reputation. Overall, children made significant distinctions between popular and unpopular peers both when making dispositional evaluations of the target peer and situational attributions about the target peer's involvement in hypothetical events. Sex differences in the use of reputational information were evident. Results are discussed in terms of the implications for intervention programs and research into children's peer relations.

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ID Code: 1650
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Preschool children, peer relationships, social status, reputation
ISSN: 1320-6648
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 Monash University Faculty of Education
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 29 Jul 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2010 12:38

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