Teacher reports of social behaviour and peer acceptance in early childhood: Sex and social status differences

Walker, Sue (2004) Teacher reports of social behaviour and peer acceptance in early childhood: Sex and social status differences. Child Study Journal, 34(1), pp. 13-28.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between sex, social status and social behaviour in a sample of Australian preschool-aged children. Social behaviour has emerged as an important predictor of social status for children in middle childhood however, although early childhood may be an optimum period for implementation of intervention programs, little is known about the correlates of social status in the preschool years. Additionally, relatively little research has addressed the issue of sex differences in the factors that are associated with peer social status. Sociometric interviews were conducted with 182 children (92 boys and 90 girls) four to five years of age (mean age 62.4 months). Status groups of popular, rejected, neglected, controversial and average children were identified according to criteria established in previous research. Teachers provided an assessment of children’s social behaviour, peer group entry skills and conflict resolution skills. Results indicated that rejected children were less likely to engage in prosocial cooperative behaviour than any other status group. Rejected children were also rated as less successful overall than other groups in their group entry attempts, but were not more likely to display aggressive or disruptive behaviour. Teachers rated boys as more aggressive than girls and more likely to use aggressive or disruptive strategies in group entry and conflict resolution. Results are discussed in terms of the relevance of particular behavioural characteristics and social skills to successful social functioning for preschool-aged boys and girls.

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ID Code: 1236
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: peer acceptance, early childhood, sex differences, prosocial behaviour
ISSN: 0009-4005
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 2004 Faculty of Applied and Professional Studies, State University College at Buffalo
Deposited On: 05 May 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:05

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