Advertisement

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 425–434 | Cite as

Opposites Do Not Attract: Social Status and Behavioral-Style Concordances and Discordances Among Children and the Peers Who Like or Dislike Them

  • Douglas W. Nangle
  • Cynthia A. Erdley
  • Karen R. Zeff
  • Lora L. Stanchfield
  • Joel A. Gold
Article

Abstract

Homophily, a term used to describe the tendency to associate with similar others, serves as a basis for attraction among children. The converse may also be true. Dissimilarity appears to contribute to dislike. In one of the only published studies to examine homophily and its converse, D. W. Nangle, C. A. Erdley, and J. A. Gold (1996) found that children were liked by peers who were similar to them in social status and behavioral style and disliked by peers who were dissimilar to them in social status and behavioral style. Examining gender influences, we were only able to partially replicate their findings in the present study. That is, evidence of homophily was found only for girls. In contrast, dissimilarity contributed to dislike for both genders, but was especially evident for boys. With respect to age, prosocial behavior appeared to have a more positive valence among younger girls, whereas aggressive behavior appeared to have a more negative valence among older boys. Attempts to reconcile these findings with those of the Nangle et al. (1996) investigation and the implications for understanding peer processes, gender influences, and behavior problems are discussed.

peer relations homophily dislike social status aggression 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Adler, P. A., & Adler, P. (1995). Dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in preadolescent cliques. Social Psychology Quarterly, 58, 145-162.Google Scholar
  2. Akers, J. F., Jones, R. M., & Coyl, D. D. (1998). Adolescent friendship pairs: Similarities in identity status development, behaviors, attitudes, and intentions. Journal of Adolescent Research, 13, 178-201.Google Scholar
  3. Asher, S. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1986). Identifying children who are rejected by their peers. Developmental Psychology, 22, 444-449.Google Scholar
  4. Asher, S. R., & Hymel, S. (1981). Children's social competence in peer relations: Sociometric and behavioral assessment. In J. D. Wine & M. D. Smye (Eds.), Social competence (pp. 125-157). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  5. Berndt, T. J. (1982). The features and effects of friendship in early adolescence. Child Development, 53, 1447-1460.Google Scholar
  6. Bukowski, W. M., Pizzamiglio, M. T., Newcomb, A. F., & Hoza, B. (1996). Popularity as an affordance of friendship: The link between group and dyadic experience. Social Development, 5, 189-202.Google Scholar
  7. Byrne, D., Clore, G., & Smeaton, G. (1986). The attraction hypothesis: Do similar attitudes affect anything? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1167-1170.Google Scholar
  8. Cairns, R. B., Cairns, B. D., Neckerman, H. J., Gest, S., & Gariepy, J. L. (1988). Social networks and aggressive behavior: Peer support or peer rejection? Developmental Psychology, 24, 813-823.Google Scholar
  9. Chung, T., & Asher, S. R. (1996). Children's goals and strategies in peer conflict situations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 42, 125-147.Google Scholar
  10. Coie, J. D., & Dodge, K. A. (1998). Aggression and antisocial behavior. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (pp. 779-862). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. Child Development, 66, 710-722.Google Scholar
  12. Crick, N. R., & Ladd, G. W. (1989). Nominator attrition: Does it affect the accuracy of children's sociometric classifications? Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 35, 197-207.Google Scholar
  13. DeLawyer, D. D. & Foster, S. L. (1986). The effects of peer relationships on the functions of interpersonal behaviors of children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 15, 127-133.Google Scholar
  14. Dishion, T. J., Andrews, D. W., & Crosby, L. (1995). Antisocial boys and their friends in early adolescence: Relationship characteristics, quality, and interactional process. Child Development, 66, 139-151.Google Scholar
  15. Dishion, T. J., Patterson, G. R., & Griesler, P. C. (1994). Peer adaptations in the development of antisocial behavior: A confluence model. In L. R. Huesmann (Ed.), Current perspectives on aggressive behavior (pp. 61-95). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  16. Eder, D., & Hallinan, M. T. (1978). Sex differences in children's friendships. American Sociological Review, 43, 237-250.Google Scholar
  17. Estell, D. B., Cairns, R. B., Farmer, T. W., & Cairns, B. D. (2002). Aggression in inner-city early elementary classrooms: Individual and peer-group configurations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 48, 52-76.Google Scholar
  18. Hartup, W. W. (1996). The company they keep: Friendships and their developmental significance. Child Development, 67, 1-13.Google Scholar
  19. Haselager, G. J., Hartup, W. W., van Lieshout, C. F., & Riksen-Walraven, J. M. (1998). Similarities between friends and non-friends in middle childhood. Child Development, 69, 1198-1208.Google Scholar
  20. Hayden-Thomson, L., Rubin, K. H., & Hymel, S. (1987). Sex preference in sociometric choices. Developmental Psychology, 23, 558-562.Google Scholar
  21. Hops, H., Alpert, A., & Davis, B. (1997). The development of same-and opposite-sex social relations among adolescents: An analogue study. Social Development, 6, 165-183.Google Scholar
  22. Hymel, S. (1986). Interpretations of peer behavior: Affective bias in childhood and adolescence. Child Development, 57, 431-445.Google Scholar
  23. Hymel, S., Wagner, E., & Butler, L. J. (1990). Reputational bias: View from the peer group. In S. R. Asher & J. D. Coie (Eds.), Peer rejection in childhood (pp. 156-186). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kandel, D. B. (1978). Homophily, selection, and socialization in adolescent friendships. American Journal of Sociology, 84, 427-436.Google Scholar
  25. Kovacs, D. M., Parker, J. G., & Hoffman, L. W. (1996). Behavioral, affective, and social correlates of involvement in cross-sex friendship in elementary school. Child Development, 67, 2269-2286.Google Scholar
  26. Kupersmidt, J. B., DeRosier, M. E., & Patterson, C. P. (1995). Similarity as the basis for children's friendships: The roles of sociometric status, aggressive and withdrawn behavior, academic achievement and demographic characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 12, 439-452.Google Scholar
  27. Nangle, D. W., Erdley, C. A., Carpenter, E. M., & Newman, J. E. (2002). Social skills training as a treatment for aggressive children and adolescents: A developmental-clinical integration. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7, 169-199.Google Scholar
  28. Nangle, D. W., Erdley, C. A., & Gold, J. A. (1996). A reflection on the popularity construct: The importance of who likes or dislikes a child. Behavior Therapy, 27, 337-352.Google Scholar
  29. Nangle, D. W., Erdley, C. A., Newman, J. E., Mason, C. A., & Carpenter, E. M. (2003). Popularity, friendship quantity, and friendship quality: Interactive influences on children's loneliness and depression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32, 564-555.Google Scholar
  30. Newcomb, A. F., & Brady, J. E. (1982). Mutuality in boys' friendships relations. Child Development, 53, 392-395.Google Scholar
  31. Poulin, F., & Boivin, M. (2000). The role of proactive and reactive aggression in the formation and development of boys' friendships. Developmental Psychology, 36, 233-240.Google Scholar
  32. Price, J. M., & Dodge, K. A. (1989). Peers' contributions to children's social maladjustment: Description and intervention. In T. J. Berndt & G. W. Ladd (Eds.), Peer relationships in child development (pp. 341-370). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  33. Rockhill, C. M., & Asher, S. R. (1992, April). Peer assessment of the behavioral characteristics of poorly accepted boys and girls. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  34. Rodkin, P. C., Farmer, T. W., Pearl, R., & Van Acker, R. (2000). Heterogeneity of popular boys: Antisocial and prosocial configurations. Developmental Psychology, 36, 14-24.Google Scholar
  35. Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Parker, J. G. (1998). Peer interactions, relationships and groups. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & N. Eisenberg (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol 3. Social, emotional and personality development (pp. 619-700). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  36. Rubin, K. H., Lynch, D., Coplan, R., Rose-Krasnor, L., & Booth, C. L. (1994). "Birds of a feather...": Behavioral concordances and preferential personal attraction in children. Child Development, 65, 1778-1785.Google Scholar
  37. Shrum, W., Cheek, N. H., & Hunter, S. M. (1988). Friendship in school: Gender and racial homophily. Sociology of Education, 61, 227-239.Google Scholar
  38. Urberg, K. A., Degirmencioglu, S. M., & Tolson, M. (1998). Adolescent friendship selection and termination: The role of similarity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 703-710.Google Scholar
  39. Xie, H., Cairns, R. B., & Cairns, B. D. (1999). Social networks and configurations in inner-city schools: Aggression, popularity, and implications for students with EBD. Behavioral Disorders, 7, 147-155.Google Scholar
  40. Zarbatany, L., McDougall, & Hymel, S. (2000). Gender-differentiated experience in the peer culture: Links to intimacy in preadolescence. Social Development, 9, 62-79.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas W. Nangle
    • 1
  • Cynthia A. Erdley
    • 1
  • Karen R. Zeff
    • 1
  • Lora L. Stanchfield
    • 1
  • Joel A. Gold
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MaineOrono

Personalised recommendations