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Title:Predicting Children's Sociometric Status From Their Behavior
Author(s):Putallaz, Martha Foley
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:The present study investigated the relationship between children's behavior and their popularity by examining two hypotheses. First, the ability of children to integrate themselves into the ongoing activity or conversation when entering a peer group and not to interfere or call attention to themselves was expected to be associated with their popularity. Second, the relationship between fitting into the group and popularity was expected to be strongest for children who accurately perceived the group's behavior. Further the study tested whether the responses to hypothetical social dilemmas found to differentiate popular and unpopular children in earlier research would generalize in the form of actual behavioral differences to analogous real situations.
Twenty-two boys participated in this study during the summer before they entered first grade. The subjects were videotaped individually while attempting to join a game in progress between two unfamiliar boys. All children interacted with the same two boys who were actually experimental confederates following an identical script for all subjects. The study consisted of three parts. First, to assess the children's responses to varied group activities, the confederates engaged in a series of games including an imitation games, a rhyming game, and finally a questioning game. In the second part of the study, an assessment was obtained of each subjects' response to three problematic social situations similar to the hypothetical situations posed in earlier research. Finally, each subject was interviewed while watching the videotape of his session and a measure of his perceptual accuracy was obtained through an interview procedure. Four months later, the popularity of each of the subjects was determined by sociometric questionnaires completed by their first grade classmates.
The major findings indicated that the ability of children to fit into the group they entered by contributing relevant conversation and not interfering with the group's activity was predictive of their popularity four months later. Further, this relationship was enhanced for those children who accurately perceived the group's behavior. Unlike the findings of research employing hypothetical social dilemmas, children's behavior in analogous real situations was not related to their future popularity.
Issue Date:1982
Description:87 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8209620
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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