Preadolescents and their friends: Similarity in aggression and depressive problems as a function of social status and friendship reciprocity

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the current study, associations between individual and friends’ direct and indirect aggression and depressive problems were examined. It was expected that social status would moderate these associations such that low-status preadolescents would be more similar to their unilateral friends with regard to indirect, but not direct, aggression. Furthermore, it was expected that preadolescents’ depressive problems were positively associated to reciprocal friends’ depressive problems, in particular in low-status preadolescents. The hypotheses were tested by studying unilateral and reciprocal friendships in 204 children (Mage=10.90; SD=0.78; 44.1% girls). Direct and indirect aggression and depressive problems were assessed via both self- and peer-reports. Social status was assessed via peer-reported rejection (i.e., dislike) and popularity (i.e., who do others want to be associated with). Analyses showed partial support for the hypotheses, showing that individual and unilateral friends’ self-reported indirect and direct aggression were positively associated in preadolescents who were lower on popularity. Moreover, in preadolescents who were more rejected by peers, depressive problems were positively associated to reciprocal friends’ depressive problems. The current study highlights the importance of including social status and distinguishing between unilateral and reciprocal friendships when examining associations between individual and friends’ behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-576
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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