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Child Dev. 2004 Jan-Feb;75(1):147-63.

From censure to reinforcement: developmental changes in the association between aggression and social status.

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Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 06269-1020, USA.


Developmental changes were examined in the associations among physical and relational aggression, and sociometric and perceived popularity based on peer nominations. Participating in the longitudinal study were 905 children (440 girls, 465 boys) from ages 10 to 14. Associations between the forms of status and between the forms of aggression decreased over time. Relational aggression increasingly predicted high social prominence but low social preference; physical aggression was increasingly less disliked but decreasingly predictive of prominence. The effect of relational aggression on perceived popularity was strong for girls. Perceived popularity preceded physical and relational aggression for both genders. Implications for the attainment of high status, processes of peer influence on antisocial behavior, and gender differences in the meaning of status are discussed.

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