Predictors of social competence in middle childhood: Discriminating between peer status groups

Michele Sundermier Clark, Fordham University


The purpose of the study was to determine the relative importance of multiple variables in predicting social competence in middle childhood, as defined by peer status groups. In addition, the study sought to determine how effective the combination of variables were in predicting peer status group membership. Peer status is considered an operational measure of social competence and was used as the criterion variable. The peer status groups generated via sociometric nomination measures were popular, rejected, neglected, and average. The predictor variables in this study were academic achievement, social goals, self-perception, sibling warmth, and parenting style. Participants were 216 third- and fourth-grade students. All participants completed the nomination based sociometric measures and self-report measures assessing four predictor variables. Academic achievement data were independently collected by the researcher via student report cards. Separate logistic regressions were conducted for each status group and the set of predictor variables. A discriminant function analysis was conducted with all status groups and the set of predictor variables. Results indicated that academic achievement was consistently the best predictor of peer status, with self-perception and authoritarian parenting (only for participants with siblings), also providing significant levels of predictive utility. These variables were found to best differentiate children rejected by their peers from the rest of the sample.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Sundermier Clark, Michele, "Predictors of social competence in middle childhood: Discriminating between peer status groups" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3262848.