Perceived Social Reputations of Popular and Well-liked Adolescents
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Given the range of behavioral attributes associated with popularity and the relative accuracy of adolescents? self-perceptions, the following study was designed to explore well-liked and popular adolescents? perceptions of their social reputation. Ss were 264 sixth- and seventh-graders (115 male; 149 female) attending an ethnically diverse urban middle school in the Los Angeles area. Ss completed a peer nomination inventory that included items for peer acceptance, peer perceived popularity, aggression, victimization, prosociality, and perceived reputation. Bivariate correlation and multiple regression analyses were conducted to explore whether peer perceived popularity and liking by peers independently predicted students? appraisals of their social reputations. Both sets of analyses showed distinct patterns of relations between the predictor variables and adolescents? self-perceptions. High peer perceived popularity predicted adolescents? perceptions that they had a reputation as popular (β=.127, p <.01), aggressive (β=.072, p <.05), and non-victimized (β=-.060, p <.05) over and above liking by peers. In contrast, high acceptance by peers predicted adolescents? perceptions that they were liked (β-.112, p <.05) and prosocial (β=.093, p <.05) over and above peer perceived popularity. A larger follow-up study is expected to replicate and expand these findings.