African American and European American students’ peer groups during early adolescence: Structure, status, and academic achievement
Focusing on a sample of 382 African American (206 female) and 264 European American (132 female) students in diverse fourth and fifth grade classrooms, this study investigated three questions concerning the connections between peer groups and academic achievement during early adolescence: (a) How is group structure (i.e., hierarchy and cohesion) associated with group centrality (i.e., status) in the classroom? (b) Does group structure predict academic achievement? and (c) Do peer-group status systems support or undermine academic achievement? Results were similar for African American and European American students. Group hierarchy was positively associated with group centrality but negatively associated with individual academic achievement. Individual status was positively associated with academic achievement. Discussion focuses on multifaceted peer-group influences on academic achievement and implications for educational practice.
Wilson, Travis, R. Karimpour, and P. C. Rodkin. 2011. "African American and European American students’ peer groups during early adolescence: Structure, status, and academic achievement." Journal Of Early Adolescence 31: 74-98.
Journal of Early Adolescence