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ERIC Number: EJ781971
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-1520-3247
Features of Groups and Status Hierarchies in Girls' and Boys' Early Adolescent Peer Networks
Gest, Scott D.; Davidson, Alice J.; Rulison, Kelly L.; Moody, James; Welsh, Janet A.
New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, n118 p43-60 Win 2007
The near universality of gender segregation in middle childhood and early adolescence has stimulated extensive research on sex differences in peer relationship processes. Recent reviews of the literature suggest that although some claims of two-cultures theory have clear empirical support, such as strong preference for same-sex peers over other-sex peers, others receive mixed or limited support. In particular, claims about sex differences in children's peer relations have frequently been made without attending to the peer group structures in which those differences occur. The goal of this study is to begin to fill this gap by applying concepts and measures from social network analysis to test theory-driven hypotheses regarding two enduring questions about similarities and differences in girls' and boys' peer networks. The first question concerns features related to group strength: Are girls' and boys' networks equally likely to be organized into sets of groups that are internally tightly knit yet distinct from one another? A tightly knit group of friends, for example, is one in which friendships exist between most pairs of individuals within the group (high density), most friendship nominations from one person to another are reciprocated (high reciprocity), and most pairs of individuals who share a common friend are also friends with each other (high transitivity). Distinctiveness, in contrast, refers to the degree to which individuals direct their social ties to members of their group rather than to individuals in other groups. The second question concerns status hierarchies: Are girls' and boys' networks and groups similarly characterized by an unequal distribution of status? In this case, status is an individual-level concept (for example, receiving many friendship or liking nominations), and centralization is a group or network-level concept describing the degree to which status is concentrated in one or a few individuals. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States