, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 167-178

Peer acceptance: The correspondence between children's sociometric scores and teachers' ratings of peer interactions

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Abstract

In view of the current interest in children's peer relationships and social skills, and the need for valid assessment procedures for children's peer problems, the intent of the present study was to examine the correspondence between peer ratings of acceptance and teacher ratings of a child's social behavior and likability. The 92 children were males and females from the third, fourth, and fifth grades. Classroom teachers rated each of the children on withdrawn, aggressive, and likable behavior using the Pupil Evaluation Inventory. Peer ratings of the child's acceptance in play and work situations were obtained from same-sex classmates. The teacher rating of likability was the best predictor of peer acceptance scores for males; withdrawn behavior was the best predictor of peer acceptance scores for females. Ratings of withdrawn and aggressive behavior contributed to the prediction of peer acceptance scores for males; for females, only withdrawn behavior contributed to the prediction of peer acceptance. In terms of the clinical utility of teacher ratings for assessing children with peer problems, the use of the withdrawn and/or aggressive ratings scales appeared to offer promise as a means of identifying such children. Implications for the area of children's social skills and directions for future research were discussed.