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Title:Social status in the early adolescent peer system in the United States and China
Author(s):Zhang, Xin
Director of Research:Pomerantz, Eva
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pomerantz, Eva
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, Richard; Rudolph, Karen; Ryan, Allison; Telzer, Eva
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):adolescence, academic engagement
culture, peers, social status, socialization
Abstract:Youth with high social status have the potential to play an important role in socializing their peers during adolescence. Unfortunately, there has been little empirical attention to this issue, particularly outside the West. My dissertation examined the characteristics that contribute to social status in the United States and Mainland China (Study 1) and the potential influence high-status youth have on their peers in the academic domain (Study 2) during early adolescence. Beginning with the entry into middle school, 3 times over 12 months, 934 youth (mean age = 12.7 years) in the United States and China made behavioral (i.e., prosocial behavior and academic engagement) and social status (i.e., sociometric popularity, perceived popularity, and admiration) nominations of their peers. They also reported on their antisocial behavior and academic engagement at these time points. In both the United States and China, peer nominations of youth’s positive behavior were predictive of their heightened social status (Study 1). However, consistent with differences in cultural values (e.g., interdependence), this was stronger in China, particularly for perceived popularity, which had the least positive behavioral nomination profile in the United States, but not China. In Study 2, the academic engagement of peers that youth nominated as high in sociometric and perceived popularity, but not of peers they admired, was predictive over time of youth’s own academic engagement in the United States and China. Notably, this effect was evident over and above any initial similarity youth had with high-status youth they nominated. Taken together, the two studies suggest that one mechanism by which cultural values shape youth in the United States and China is social status in the peer system.
Issue Date:2017-03-24
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/97287
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Xin Zhang
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05


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