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Dev Psychol. 2001 Jul;37(4):550-60.

Peer rejection as an antecedent of young children's school adjustment: an examination of mediating processes.

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  • 1Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 61820, USA.


A short-term longitudinal design (N = 399) was used to examine peer relations processes that may mediate the relation between peer rejection and children's emotional and academic adjustment during kindergarten. These proposed mediating processes extend the current literature by explicating behavioral pathways via which the attitudinal construct of peer rejection may affect adjustment outcomes. Structural equatiton modeling results supported the hypothesis that negative peer treatment (e.g., victimization, refusal of peer group entry bids, and exclusion from peer activities) and classroom participation partially mediate the relationship between rejection and adjustment outcomes. Rejected children were more likely to experience negative peer treatment, more likely to show decreases in classroom participation, and more likely to report loneliness, to express a desire to avoid school, and to perform less well on achievement measures.

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