Relating aggressive and victimization behaviors to children's sociometric status and friendships


The present study examined peer nominations of pupils in Grades 3-6 (9-12-year-olds) for aggressive and victimization behaviors in relation to peer group sociometric status (popular, average, rejected) and number of mutual friends (reciprocal nominations). Rejected children, relative to other children, were perceived as higher both in aggression and in being victimized (both physically and verbally) and had the smallest number of mutual friends. In addition, the mutual friends of rejected status boys were perceived as higher in being victimized than were the friends of other children. Neither level of aggression nor level of victimization predicted number of mutual friendships. However, significant positive correlations for both aggressive and victimization behaviors were revealed between popular and average status children and their mutual friends, and these congruences were not found between rejected status children and their mutual friends. This research highlights the complexity and importance of evaluating the form and function of social behaviors within multiple levels of children's peer social relationships.

Publication Title

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships