Identifying Children's Peer Social Networks in School Classrooms: Links between Peer Reports and Observed Interactions

Scott D. Gest, Thomas W. Farmer, Beverley D. Cairns, Hongling Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

Links between peer reports of social cluster membership and observed classroom interactions were examined in a sample of 72 children in 4 th grade and 7th grade. All participating children in each classroom identified as many social clusters in the classroom as they could recall. Using the social-cognitive map (SCM) procedure, these individual reports were aggregated to summarize the number of times a given child was nominated as being in the same social cluster as each of his or her classmates (i.e., a co-nomination profile) and to identify the classmates in each child's social cluster. Extensive classroom observations allowed for a parallel summary of the number of times a given child was observed to interact with each of his or her classmates (i.e., an interaction profile). Results indicated that correlations between conomination profiles and interaction profiles were positive and statistically reliable. Children were observed to interact with members of their SCM-identified social cluster at a rate four times higher than with other same-sex classmates. These effects did not vary reliably by grade, sex or aggressive risk status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-529
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Development
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 18 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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