Too Cool for School? The Relationship Between Coolness and Academic Reputation in Early Adolescence
The relationship between peer-nominated coolness and academic reputation was examined at two time points spanning the first year of middle school (N = 807; 52 percent female; 52 percent African-American; 48 percent European American). Students predominantly nominated peers who were from their same gender and ethnic group as being cool. Associations between coolness and academic reputation differed across subgroups, were contingent upon level of disruptive behavior, and changed over time from fall to spring of the academic year. In the fall, patterns differed by gender, not by ethnicity. For both white and African-American boys, hierarchical regressions evidenced a null association between coolness and academic reputation; for both white and African-American girls, this association was positive. In the spring, findings for white girls were similar to findings from the fall. For the three remaining groupswhite boys and African-American boys and girlsconditions worsened over time, albeit in slightly dissimilar ways. For white boys, fall coolness did not predict significant declines in academic reputation over time; nonetheless, as a group, the coolness-academic reputation was negative by the end of the year. For African-American boys and girls, fall coolness significantly predicted declines in academic reputation from fall to spring, although the concurrent coolness-academic reputation association was not significantly negative for either group in the spring.
Jamison, R.S., T. Wilson, and A. Ryan. 2015. "Too Cool for School? The Relationship between Coolness and Academic Reputation in Early Adolescence." Social Development 24(2): 384-403.
Adolescence, Education, Popularity, Peers, Peer relations