Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Peer variables as predictors of later childhood adjustment

  • Betsy Hoza (a1), Brooke S. G. Molina (a1), William M. Bukowski (a2) and Lorrie K. Sippola (a2)

This study examined the relation between children's peer relationships and teacher-rated psychological adjustment. A number of shortcomings in the peer literature were addressed by: (a) employing carefully delineated peer variables (passive isolation, rejected isolation, aggressive-disruptive, peer preference, mutual friendship); (b) employing a data analytic strategy that permitted simultaneous examination of main effects of and interactions among peer variables; (c) using an outcome measure that is well-normed for children and widely used in studies of adjustment; and (d) controlling for outcome measures' autocorrelations across time points. For 236 school children in the third, fourth, and fifth grades, concurrent associations were examined between these peer variables and internalizing and externalizing problems. Longitudinal associations were examined over a period of 2 years. In so doing, we found that passive isolation was a risk factor for internalizing problems, and rejected isolation was marginally predictive of externalizing problems. Furthermore, we found complex moderating effects of mutual friendship, such that children who were not isolated may derive benefits from having a close mutual friend, but the results were not clear for children with poor peer-group relationships. Much additional research is needed to further clarify these findings.

Corresponding author
Betsy Hoza, 1364 Psychological Sciences Building, purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907–1364.
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.

T. J. Berndt (1992). Friendship and friends' influence in adolescence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1, 156159.

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

T. J. Dishion , D. W. Andrews , & L. Crosby (1995). Antisocial boys and their friends in early adolescence: Relationship characteristics, quality, and interactional process. Child Development, 66, 139151.

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

A. S. Masten , P. Morison , & D. S. Pellegrini (1985). A Revised Class Play method of peer assessment. Developmental Psychology, 21, 523533.

J. L. Moreno (1934). Who shall survive? A new approach to the problem of human interrelations. Washington, DC: Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing.

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

J. G. Parker , & S. R. Asher (1993). Friendship and friendship quality in middle childhood: Links with peer group acceptance and feelings of loneliness and social dissatisfaction. Developmental Psychology, 29, 611621.

K. H. Rubin , & R. S. L. Mills (1988). The many faces of social isolation in childhood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 916924.

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: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 105 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.