Background. Earlier research shows that peer-rejected children are at risk of a wide range of subsequent adjustment difficulties in different social contexts, as, for example, in school.
Aims. This study investigated the academic performance and school adjustment in adolescence of children with different peer status in middle childhood.
Sample. Age 15 boys and girls (N=90), who at age 10 and 11 were sociometrically rejected, popular, or of average popularity in their school class.
Methods. School marks, intelligence scales, and self-reports were used as adjustment measures. School dropout rate for boys was also included.
Results. The academic performance and intelligence level of rejected boys and girls were short of the standards of children from the other status groups, while the scores of popular boys and girls were of superior standard. There were some slight indications that rejected girls (but not rejected boys) had negative attitudes towards school and schoolwork, and that popular girls had positive school attitudes. The school dropout
rate of rejected boys was much higher than that of other boys.
Conclusions. The results show that the rejected children are a risk group for school problems also over a long period of time. Considering the important developmental aspects of the adolescence years, there appear to be good reasons, therefore, to worry about the future adulthood adjustment of peer-rejected children.
2003. Vol. 73, no 2, 207-221 p.
school children; sociometric peer status; rejection; school adjustment; adolescence