Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 75–85 | Cite as

Dominance hierarchies in groups of middle to late adolescent males

  • Ritch C. Savin-Williams


Two cabin groups (N=5 and 6) of 14- to 17-year-old males were observed during a five-week camping session. Recorded were all instances of dyadic dominance behaviors occurring between group members in three behavior settings. Various group sociometric exercises and life history data were also available. Similar to previously studied early adolescent groups, the current middle and late adolescents formed a group dominance hierarchy that remained relatively stable during the camp session and in the behavior settings. In marked contrast to early adolescents, however, physical variables such as pubertal maturation, athletic ability, and physical fitness no longer predicted relative ranking among group members. Rather, individual variations in intelligence, creativity, crafts skill, cabin spirit, peer popularity, and camp experience predicted the group structure. Physical means of expressing dominance status were rare among the older adolescents.


Physical Fitness Early Adolescent Late Adolescent Adolescent Male Behavior Setting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Coleman, J. S. (1961).The Adolescent Society Free Press, Glencoe, Ill.Google Scholar
  2. Dunphy, D. C. (1969).Cliques, Crowds, and Gangs Cheshire Press, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  3. Gallagher, J. R., and Brouha, L. (1943). A simple method of testing the physical fitness of boys.Res. Quart. 14: 23–31.Google Scholar
  4. Hallworth, H. J. (1953). Sociometric relationships among grammar school boys and girls between the ages of eleven and sixteen years.Sociometry 16: 39–70.Google Scholar
  5. Omark, D., Freedman, D. G., and Strayer, F. F. (1980).Dominance Relations: Ethological Perspectives on Human Conflict Garland Publishing, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Savin-Williams, R. C. (1976). An ethological study of dominance formation and maintenance in a group of human adolescents.Child Dev. 47: 972–979.Google Scholar
  7. Savin-Williams, R. C. (1977). Dominance in a human adolescent group.Animal Behav. 25: 400–406.Google Scholar
  8. Savin-Williams, R. C. (1979). Dominance hierarchies in groups of early adolescents.Child Dev. 50: 142–151.Google Scholar
  9. Savin-Williams, R. C. (in press). Social interactions of adolescent females in natural groups. In Foot, H., Chapman, A., and Smith, J. (eds.),Friendship and Social Relations in Children, Wiley, London.Google Scholar
  10. Savin-Williams, R. C., and Freedman, D. G. (1977). Bio-social approach to human development. In Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S., and Poirier, F. E. (eds.),Primate Bio-Social Development: Biological, Sociological, and Ecological Determinants Garland Publishing, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Scheinfeld, D. R. (1973). Dominance, exchange and achievement in a lower income Black neighborhood. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  12. Sherif, M., and Sherif, C. W. (1964).Reference Groups Regnery, Chicago.Google Scholar
  13. Siegel, S. (1956).Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Tanner, J. M. (1962).Growth at Adolescence Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  15. Thrasher, F. (1927).The Gang University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  16. Whyte, W. F. (1943).Street Corner Society University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ritch C. Savin-Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Human EcologyCornell UniversityIthaca

Personalised recommendations