Coolness and Admiration Diverge in Early Adolescence Among African American Students in Low-Income Urban Schools
Peer nominations were used to explore age-related differences in the correlates of being admired and being perceived as cool among 542 youths in 5 low-income urban schools (Grades 3-6; 86% African American). Children nominated peers whom they admired and whom they perceived as cool, prosocial. and good at academics. Classroom group-level and dyadic-level analyses yielded complementary findings in support of 3 developmental hypotheses. Consistent with the distinctiveness of coolness and admiration hypothesis, the coolness-admiration partial correlation (net of acceptance) was null in Grades 4-6 (but not in Grade 3), indicating that admiration and coolness are distinct constructs. Consistent with the continuity of admiration hypothesis, peer admiration was associated with higher levels of academic reputation and prosocial behavior in all 4 grades. Consistent with the discontinuity of coolness hypothesis. associations between coolness and student attributes differed reliably with ascending grade: toward being less prosocial, older (relative to classmates), and having a less positive academic reputation.
Wilson, Travis M., and Jun Zhao. 2021. "Coolness and Admiration Diverge in Early Adolescence Among African American Students in Low-Income Urban Schools." Journal of Educational Psychology 113(2): 411-422.
American Psychological Association
Journal of Education Psychology
Peer admiration, Coolness, Prosocial behavior, African American youths, Urban schools