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A Longitudinal Latent Profile Analysis of Adolescent Popularity: A Test of the Bistrategic Hypothesis

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Date Issued:
2016
Summary:
As children enter adolescence, social status within the peer hierarchy gains importance. Variable-oriented research has linked adolescent popularity with both positive and negative adjustment outcomes. Popularity may be better understood with reference to types or subgroups of similar individuals, identified through person-oriented approaches. Resource Control Theory (RCT: Hawley, 1999) posits three distinct types of popular adolescents: coercive, prosocial, and bistrategic. The existence and adjustment correlates of the prosocial and coercive groups have been well-established, but little evidence supports the existence of a bistrategic popular group of adolescents, and even less is known about their adjustment correlates. The present study aims to confirm the existence of the popularity groups hypothesized by RCT and to identify group differences in social adjustment and problem behaviors. A sample of 568 adolescents (n = 288 girls, 280 boys; M age = 12.50) completed peer nomination procedures and self-report questionnaires in the Fall and Spring of the 7th and 8th grades. Longitudinal latent profile analyses classified adolescents into profile groups on the basis of initial physical aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial behavior, and four time points of popularity spanning the 7th and 8th grades. Repeated measures ANOVAs examined profile group differences in social adjustment (peer acceptance, peer rejection, physical victimization, relational victimization, and preference for solitude) and problem behaviors (disruptiveness and delinquency) across the 7th and 8th grades. Results indicate that adolescents fall into one of four distinct groups: aggressive popular, prosocial popular, bistrategic popular, and average. Bistrategic popular adolescents evinced positive social adjustment, exhibiting the highest levels of popularity and peer acceptance and the lowest levels of peer rejection, victimization, and preference for solitude. Despite their social skill advantages, bistrategic popular adolescents were also at risk for problem behaviors. Bistrategic popular adolescents scored above average on problem behaviors, including physical and relational aggression, disruptiveness, and delinquency. Bistrategic popular adolescents successfully navigate the social world in a manner that both offers hope for positive long-term adjustment and concern for the same.
Title: A Longitudinal Latent Profile Analysis of Adolescent Popularity: A Test of the Bistrategic Hypothesis.
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Name(s): Hartl, Amy C., author
Laursen, Brett, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Psychology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2016
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 116 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: As children enter adolescence, social status within the peer hierarchy gains importance. Variable-oriented research has linked adolescent popularity with both positive and negative adjustment outcomes. Popularity may be better understood with reference to types or subgroups of similar individuals, identified through person-oriented approaches. Resource Control Theory (RCT: Hawley, 1999) posits three distinct types of popular adolescents: coercive, prosocial, and bistrategic. The existence and adjustment correlates of the prosocial and coercive groups have been well-established, but little evidence supports the existence of a bistrategic popular group of adolescents, and even less is known about their adjustment correlates. The present study aims to confirm the existence of the popularity groups hypothesized by RCT and to identify group differences in social adjustment and problem behaviors. A sample of 568 adolescents (n = 288 girls, 280 boys; M age = 12.50) completed peer nomination procedures and self-report questionnaires in the Fall and Spring of the 7th and 8th grades. Longitudinal latent profile analyses classified adolescents into profile groups on the basis of initial physical aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial behavior, and four time points of popularity spanning the 7th and 8th grades. Repeated measures ANOVAs examined profile group differences in social adjustment (peer acceptance, peer rejection, physical victimization, relational victimization, and preference for solitude) and problem behaviors (disruptiveness and delinquency) across the 7th and 8th grades. Results indicate that adolescents fall into one of four distinct groups: aggressive popular, prosocial popular, bistrategic popular, and average. Bistrategic popular adolescents evinced positive social adjustment, exhibiting the highest levels of popularity and peer acceptance and the lowest levels of peer rejection, victimization, and preference for solitude. Despite their social skill advantages, bistrategic popular adolescents were also at risk for problem behaviors. Bistrategic popular adolescents scored above average on problem behaviors, including physical and relational aggression, disruptiveness, and delinquency. Bistrategic popular adolescents successfully navigate the social world in a manner that both offers hope for positive long-term adjustment and concern for the same.
Identifier: FA00004694 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2016.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Adolescent psychology
Cliques (Sociology)
Friendship in adolescence
Interpersonal relations in adolescence
Peer pressure in adolescence
Self esteem in adolescence
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004694
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004694
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Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.