Social Prominence and the Heterogeneity of Rejected Status in Late Elementary School

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The heterogeneity of peer rejection was examined as a function of social prominence in fifth grade classrooms. From an overall sample of 3,891 (1,931 girls) students, 721 youth (424 boys) were identified with rejected status. Social prominence was determined from the aggregation of peer nominations for leader, athletic, cool, and popular. Students with rejected sociometric status were classified into one of three prominence subtypes: high, medium, and low. Prominence subtypes were differentially linked to social behavior and peer affiliations. Although relatively few rejected students had high prominence, those who did tended to have higher levels of peer-assessed aggression, were more likely to be identified as bullies, had lower levels of internalizing behavior, and were less likely to be socially isolated and more likely to associate with socially prominent peers as compared to youth in other rejected status social prominence subtypes.

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