Education Specialist (Ed.S.)
Degree Granting Department
Sarah Kiefer, Ph.D.
Shannon M. Suldo, Ph.D.
John Ferron, Ph.D.
Coolness, Middle School, Popularity, Dominance, Intimacy, Gender
Peer relationships are highly salient during early adolescence, especially during the first year of middle school. As a result, coolness (a facet of peer status) is prioritized and increasingly associated with aggression. Recent research indicates the relationship between peer status (coolness) and aggression is moderated by social goals (popularity, dominance, intimacy) and gender. Leadership among peers is also salient during early adolescence, although it is understudied in comparison to peer status (coolness). Leadership is worth additional investigation, as youth leaders are considered interpersonally competent and possess the social skills necessary to influence peer behavior. Research is needed to examine the extent to which peer status (coolness) and leadership are similar yet distinct constructs and the extent to which peer status and leadership influence subsequent aggression. Research is also needed to determine if the relationship between leadership and aggression is moderated by social goals and gender, as this may have implications for understanding antecedents to aggression. The current study examined the following: (1) the associations among peer-reported leadership and coolness in the fall with peer-reported aggression (overt and relational) in the spring of sixth grade, (2) the extent to which social goals (popularity, dominance, and intimacy) and gender moderate relations of leadership and coolness in the fall with aggression in the spring of sixth grade, (3) and the extent to which mean-level gender differences and study variables change across time. The sample was comprised of sixth-grade students from three middle schools in an urban, ethnically diverse setting (N = 347). Results revealed a significant association across both time points for leadership and coolness. Moreover, social goals and gender moderated the association between coolness, leadership, and aggression.
Scholar Commons Citation
Schick, Casey, "Influence of Leadership, Peer Status, and Social Goals on Overt and Relational Aggression during Early Adolescence" (2017). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.