Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Developmental cascades of peer rejection, social information processing biases, and aggression during middle childhood

  • Jennifer E. Lansford (a1), Patrick S. Malone (a2), Kenneth A. Dodge (a1), Gregory S. Pettit (a3) and John E. Bates (a4)...

This study tested a developmental cascade model of peer rejection, social information processing (SIP), and aggression using data from 585 children assessed at 12 time points from kindergarten through Grade 3. Peer rejection had direct effects on subsequent SIP problems and aggression. SIP had direct effects on subsequent peer rejection and aggression. Aggression had direct effects on subsequent peer rejection. Each construct also had indirect effects on each of the other constructs. These findings advance the literature beyond a simple mediation approach by demonstrating how each construct effects changes in the others in a snowballing cycle over time. The progressions of SIP problems and aggression cascaded through lower liking, and both better SIP skills and lower aggression facilitated the progress of social preference. Findings are discussed in terms of the dynamic, developmental relations among social environments, cognitions, and behavioral adjustment.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jennifer E. Lansford, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Box 90545, Durham, NC 27708; E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. R. Asarnow , & J. W. Callan (1985). Boys with peer adjustment problems: Social cognitive processes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 8087.

K. L. Bierman , D. L. Smoot , & K. Aumiller (1993). Characteristics of aggressive-rejected, aggressive (nonrejected), and rejected (nonaggressive) boys. Child Development, 64, 139151.

K. A. Bollen , & R. Stine (1990). Direct and indirect effects: Classical and bootstrap estimates of variability. In C. C. Clogg (Ed.), Sociological methodology (pp. 115140). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

K. B. Burt , J. Obradović , J. D. Long , & A. S. Masten (2008). The interplay of social competence and psychopathology over 20 years: Testing transactional and cascade models. Child Development, 79, 359374.

R. B. Cairns , B. D. Cairns , H. J. Neckerman , S. Gest , & J.-L. Gariepy (1988). Social networks and aggressive behavior: Peer support or peer rejection? Developmental Psychology, 24, 815823.

J. D. Coie , K. A. Dodge , & H. A. Coppotelli (1982). Dimensions and types of social status: A cross-age perspective. Developmental Psychology, 18, 557569.

J. D. Coie , J. E. Lochman , R. Terry , & C. Hyman (1992). Predicting early adolescent disorder from childhood aggression and peer rejection. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60, 783792.

N. R. Crick , & K. A. Dodge (1994). A review and reformulation of social information-processing mechanisms in children's social adjustment. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 74101.

N. R. Crick , & G. W. Ladd (1990). Children's perceptions of the outcomes of aggressive strategies: Do the ends justify being mean? Developmental Psychology, 26, 612620.

P. E. Davis-Kean , L. R. Huesmann , J. Jager , W. A. Collins , J. E. Bates , & J. E. Lansford (2008). Changes in the relation of self-efficacy beliefs and behaviors across development. Child Development, 79, 12571269.

K. A. Dodge , J. E. Bates , & G. S. Pettit (1990). Mechanisms in the cycle of violence. Science, 250, 16781683.

K. A. Dodge , & N. R. Crick (1990). Social information-processing bases of aggressive behavior in children. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16, 822.

K. A. Dodge , J. E. Lansford , V. S. Burks , J. E. Bates , G. S. Pettit , R. Fontaine , & J. M. Price (2003). Peer rejection and social information-processing factors in the development of aggressive behavior problems in children. Child Development, 74, 374393.

K. A. Dodge , C. L. McClaskey , & E. Feldman (1985). A situational approach to the assessment of social competence in children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 334353.

K. A. Dodge , G. S. Pettit , J. E. Bates , & E. Valente (1995). Social information-processing patterns partially mediate the effect of early physical abuse on later conduct problems. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 632643.

K. A. Dodge , J. M. Price , J. Bachorowski , & J. P. Newman (1990). Hostile attributional biases in severely aggressive adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 385392.

L. R. Huesmann , L. D. Eron , M. M. Lefkowitz , & L. O. Walder (1984). Stability of aggression over time and generations. Developmental Psychology, 20, 11201134.

L. R. Huesmann , & N. G. Guerra (1997). Children's normative beliefs about aggression and aggressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 408419.

X. L. Jiang , & A. H. N. Cillessen (2005). Stability of continuous measures of sociometric status: A meta-analysis. Developmental Review, 25, 125.

G. W. Ladd (1999). Peer relationships and social competence during early and middle childhood. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 333359.

J. E. Lansford , S. Miller-Johnson , L. J. Berlin , K. A. Dodge , J. E. Bates , & G. S. Pettit (2007). Early physical abuse and later violent delinquency: A prospective longitudinal study. Child Maltreatment, 12, 233245.

D. P. MacKinnon , C. M. Lockwood , J. M. Hoffman , S. G. West , & V. Sheets (2002). A comparison of methods to test mediation and other intervening variable effects. Psychological Methods, 7, 83104.

A. F. Newcomb , & W. M. Bukowski (1983). Social impact and social preference as determinants of children's group status. Developmental Psychology, 19, 856867.

D. Olweus (1979). Stability of aggressive reaction patterns in males: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 852875.

J. G. Parker , & S. R. Asher (1987). Peer relations and later personal adjustment: Are low accepted children “at risk”? Psychological Bulletin, 102, 357389.

J. E. Parsons , & D. N. Ruble (1977). The development of achievement-related expectancies. Child Development, 48, 10751079.

D. L. Rabiner , J. D. Coie , S. Miller-Johnson , A.-S. M. Boykin , & J. E. Lochman (2005). Predicting the persistence of aggressive offending of African American males from adolescence into young adulthood: The importance of peer relations, aggressive behavior, and ADHD symptoms. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 13, 131140.

P. C. Rodkin , T. W. Farmer , R. Pearl , & R. VanAcker (2000). Heterogeneity of popular boys: Antisocial and prosocial configurations. Developmental Psychology, 36, 1424.

J. L. Schafer , & J. W. Graham (2002). Missing data: Our view of the state of the art. Psychological Methods, 7, 147177.

F. H. Spencer , & L. Bornholt (2003). A model of children's cognitive functioning and cognitive self concepts. Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 8, 48.

S. Trachtenberg , & R. J. Viken (1994). Aggressive boys in the classroom: Biased attributions or shared perceptions? Child Development, 65, 829835.

I. D. Waldman (1996). Aggressive boys’ hostile perceptual and response biases: The role of attention and impulsivity. Child Development, 67, 10151033.

B. Weiss , K. A. Dodge , J. E. Bates , & G. S. Pettit (1992). Some consequences of early harsh discipline: Child aggression and a maladaptive social information processing style. Child Development, 63, 13211335.

S. H. White (1965). Evidence for a hierarchical arrangement of learning processes. In L. P. Lipsitt & C. C. Spiker (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior. New York: Academic Press.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 9
Total number of PDF views: 120 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 680 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.