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Dev Psychol. 2014 Mar;50(3):968-78. doi: 10.1037/a0034344. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Longitudinal stability of social competence indicators in a Portuguese sample: Q-sort profiles of social competence, measures of social engagement, and peer sociometric acceptance.

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Unidade de Investigação em Psicologia Cognitiva, do Desenvolvimento e da Educação, ISPA-Instituto Universitário.
Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University.


This study examines the temporal stability (over 3 years) of individual differences in 3 domains relevant to preschool children's social competence: social engagement/motivation, profiles of behavior and personality attributes characteristic of socially competent young children, and peer acceptance. Each domain was measured with multiple indicators. Sociometric status categories (Asher & Dodge, 1986) and reciprocated friendships were derived from sociometric data. Composites for social competence domains were significantly associated across all time points. Within age-periods, social competence domains were associated with both sociometric and friendship status categories; however, neither sociometric status nor reciprocated friendships were stable over time. Nevertheless, analyses examining the social competence antecedents to reciprocated friendship at age-4 and age-5 suggested that more socially competent children in the prior year were more likely to have a reciprocated friendship in the current year. Popular and rejected sociometric status categories were also associated with social competence indicators in prior years, but this was most clearly seen at age-5.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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