Title

Social goals, social behavior, and social status in middle childhood.

Abstract

This study examines motivational precursors of social status and the applicability of a dual-component model of social competence to middle childhood. Concurrent and longitudinal relationships between self-reported social goals (social development, demonstration-approach, demonstration-avoid goal orientations), teacher-rated prosocial and aggressive behavior, and peer nominations of social status (preference, popularity) were examined over the course of an academic year among 980 3rd- to 5th-grade children. Findings support dual-component expectations. Confirmatory factor analyses verified the expected 3-factor structure of social goals and 2-factor structure of social status. Structural equation modeling (SEM) found that (a) social development goals were associated with prosocial behavior and increased preference, and (b) demonstration-approach goals were associated with aggressive behavior and increased popularity. Demonstration-avoid goals were associated with a popularity decrease. SEMs were invariant across grade, gender, and ethnicity. Discussion concerns the potential risks of high social status, extensions to the dual-component model, and the generality of an achievement goal approach to child social development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Publication Date

6-1-2013

Publication Title

Developmental Psychology

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1037/a0029389

Keywords

Childhood development, Goals, Social skills, Aggressive behavior, Prosocial behavior, Psychosocial development, Motivation

Language

English

Format

text

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