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01-02-2013 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 2/2013

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2/2013

The Association Between Forms of Aggression, Leadership, and Social Status Among Urban Youth

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 2/2013
Auteurs:
Tracy Evian Waasdorp, Courtney N. Baker, Brooke S. Paskewich, Stephen S. Leff

Abstract

While much prior research has documented the negative associations between aggression, peer relationships, and social skills, other research has begun to examine whether forms of aggression also may be associated with prosocial skills and increased social status. However, few studies have examined these associations within diverse samples of elementary aged youth. The current study examined the associations between aggression, popularity, social preference, and leadership among 227 urban, ethnic minority (74 % African American, 9 % bi-racial including African American, 12 % other ethnic minorities, and 5 % European American) elementary school youth (average age 9.5 years, 48.5 % female). Results indicated that in an urban, high risk environment, displaying aggressive behaviors was associated with increased perceived popularity, decreased social preference, and, in some cases, increased perceived leadership. The results also suggested gender differences in the association between the forms of aggression (i.e. relational and overt) and popularity. The current study underscores the importance of examining youth leadership along with forms of aggression and social status among urban minority youth. Implications for future research and aggression prevention programming are highlighted.

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