Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1084–1095 | Cite as

Early Adolescents’ Social Standing in Peer Groups: Behavioral Correlates of Stability and Change

  • Jennifer E. LansfordEmail author
  • Ley A. Killeya-Jones
  • Shari Miller
  • Philip R. Costanzo
Empirical Research


Sociometric nominations, social cognitive maps, and self-report questionnaires were completed in consecutive years by 327 students (56% girls) followed longitudinally from grade 7 to grade 8 to examine the stability of social standing in peer groups and correlates of changes in social standing. Social preference, perceived popularity, network centrality, and leadership were moderately stable from grade 7 to grade 8. Alcohol use and relational aggression in grade 7 predicted changes in social preference and centrality, respectively, between grade 7 and grade 8, but these effects were moderated by gender and ethnicity. Changes in social standing from grade 7 to grade 8 were unrelated to grade 8 physical aggression, relational aggression, and alcohol use after controlling for the grade 7 corollaries of these behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding links between social standing and problem behaviors during adolescence.


Social preference Perceived popularity Network centrality Leadership 



This work was funded by grant 1 P20 DA017589-02 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the Duke University Transdisciplinary Prevention Research Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer E. Lansford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ley A. Killeya-Jones
    • 2
  • Shari Miller
    • 3
  • Philip R. Costanzo
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Child and Family PolicyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Center for Genomic MedicineDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.RTI, Research Triangle ParkDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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