Teacher reports of children's friendships and social groups: Agreement with peer reports and implications for studying peer similarity

Scott D. Gest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Teacher - peer agreement about children's friendships and social group affiliations was examined in a sample of 219 children in grades 1, 3, and 5. Peer reports were used to identify reciprocated friendships and informal social groups. Teachers listed each child's closest friends and described the informal social groups existing in their classrooms. Teachers also rated children's externalizing behavior problems and academic orientation and provided direct ratings of the externalizing behavior problems and academic orientation of children's friends. Teacher - peer agreement was reliable for friendships and social groups and was stronger in the upper elementary grades. Estimates of peer similarity were highest when teachers provided global ratings of the behaviors of the children's friends. Results suggest that teacher reports of children's peer affiliations have some validity but result in inflated estimates of peer similarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-259
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Development
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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