Popularity has been examined extensively in recent years, particularly regarding its behavioral correlates. However, much less is known about the social cognitive processes related to popularity and the strategies to attain popularity. This study examined the longitudinal association between popularity goal and popularity status by focusing on the mediation effects of perceived contributing behaviors for popularity (i.e., popularity determinants) and actual behaviors in a sample of 5th and 6th graders (N = 382; 47% girls) in China. The results revealed that participants’ popularity goal indirectly related to aggression, academic performance, and prosocial behaviors through the mediation of the corresponding popularity determinant perceptions. Furthermore, participants’ popularity goal longitudinally predicted their later popularity status changes through the mediation of perceptions of prosocial behaviors as a popularity determinant and prosocial behaviors. The findings of this study were discussed in relationship to their cultural context.