ERIC Number: EJ831541
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
Status and Gender Differences in Early Adolescents' Descriptions of Popularity
Closson, Leanna M.
Social Development, v18 n2 p412-426 May 2009
This study examined gender and status differences among sixth through eighth grade early adolescents' (N = 387) descriptions of what it means to be popular. More boys than girls specified being "cool", "athletic", "funny", and "defiant/risky", whereas more girls than boys identified wearing nice "clothing", being "attractive", "mean", "snobby", "rude", and "sociable" as descriptors of popularity. Descriptions also varied as a function of the individual's status: adolescents who were perceived as popular described popularity primarily in positive terms, whereas adolescents perceived as average and unpopular used both positive and negative terms. Compared with their same-gender peers, more popular boys indicated being "cool", "attractive", and "athletic", whereas more popular girls specified being "athletic" and "liked". Compared with popular girls, more average girls used the terms "mean" and "conceited" in their descriptions, whereas more average and unpopular girls indicated the term "snobby". This study illustrates the complexity and variability in early adolescents' social constructions of popularity.
Descriptors: Social Influences, Females, Preadolescents, Grade 8, Peer Acceptance, Gender Differences, Males, Social Status, Grade 6, Grade 7, Early Adolescents, Peer Relationship, Social Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: N/A