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01-09-2014 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 9/2014

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 9/2014

Friendship Networks and Achievement Goals: An Examination of Selection and Influence Processes and Variations by Gender

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 9/2014
Huiyoung Shin, Allison M. Ryan


Interactions with friends are a salient part of students’ experience at school. Thus, friends are likely to be an important source of influence on achievement goals. This study investigated processes within early adolescent friendships (selection and influence) with regard to achievement goals (mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals) among sixth graders (N = 587, 50 % girls at wave 1, N = 576, 52 % girls at wave 2) followed from fall to spring within one academic year. Students’ gender was examined as a moderator in these processes. Longitudinal social network analysis found that friends were similar to each other in mastery goals and that this similarity was due to both selection and influence effects. Influence but not selection effects were found for performance-approach goals. Influence effects for performance-approach goals were stronger for boys compared to girls in the classroom. Neither selection, nor influence, effects were found in relation to performance-avoidance goals. However, the higher a student was in performance-avoidance goals, the less likely they were to be named as a friend by classmates. Implications for early adolescents’ classroom adjustment are discussed.

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