Chinese Adolescents' Social Status Goals: Associations with Behaviors and Attributions for Relational Aggression

Michelle F. Wright, Yan Li, Junqi Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined two social status goals in relation to aggressive and prosocial behaviors as well as attributions for relational aggression among 477 (244 girls) Chinese early adolescents. Findings indicate that, after controlling for each other, the social preference goal was negatively related to self-reported overt aggression, and positively associated with prosocial behaviors as reported by self, peers, and teachers, whereas the popularity goal was not uniquely related to either aggressive or prosocial behaviors. Regarding attributions, adolescents with the popularity goal displayed a tendency to justify relational aggression by not attributing it to the aggressor's characteristics (e.g., jealousy). In contrast, adolescents with the social preference goal were more likely to attribute relational aggression to the aggressor's characteristics as well as neutral reasons. Findings of this study highlight the importance of investigating the social cognitive processes of peer status among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-588
Number of pages23
JournalYouth and Society
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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