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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1987 Jan;52(1):47-55.

Peer-group affiliation and adolescent self-esteem: an integration of ego-identity and symbolic-interaction theories.

Abstract

To evaluate expectations derived from ego-identity theory and symbolic-interaction theories about the association between self-concept and peer-group affiliations in adolescence, we examined the self-esteem of 221 7th through 12th graders associated by peers with one of five major school crowds and 106 students relatively unknown by classmates and not associated with any school crowd. Among crowd members, self-esteem was directly related to the position of one's crowd in the peer-group status hierarchy (based on both peer-rated and self-perceived crowd affiliation). Outsiders' self-esteem differed in relation to the accuracy of their reflected appraisal of and the salience they attached to crowd affiliation. Crowd members as a whole exhibited higher self-esteem than outsiders as a whole. Differences, however, were mediated by crowd status, salience of crowd affiliation, and the accuracy of reflected appraisals. An adequate interpretation of the findings required an integration of Festinger's (1954, 1957) social comparisons and cognitive-dissonance theories, Cooley's (1902) notions of reflected appraisal, and Newman and Newman's (1976) extrapolations from ego-identity theory.

PMID:
3820077
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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