Antisocial and Prosocial Correlates of Classroom Social Positions: The Social Network Centrality Perspective

Authors

  • Thomas W. Farmer,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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    • *Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Philip C. Rodkin, Carolina Consortium on Human Development, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Philip C. Rodkin

    1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • The authors are grateful to the editor and three anonymous reviewers for critquing an earlier draft of this article.

Send correspondence to: Thomas W. Farmer, Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Campus Box #8115, 521 S. Greensboro St., Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599.

Abstract

We explore relations between social network centrality and behavioral characteristics. Elementary school students nominated classmates for aggressivity, disruptiveness, popularity, studiousness, leadership, cooperativeness, athleticism, and shyness. Students had 1 of 4 levels of network centrality (i.e., nuclear, secondary, peripheral, isolated) and were in 1 of 4 educational classifications (i.e., academically gifted, emotionally and behaviorally disordered, general education, learning disabled). Across educational classifications for both boys and girls, nuclear students were athletic, cooperative, leaders, popular, and studious relative to lower centrality students. However, antisocial characteristics were associated with lower centrality for girls only. Aggressive behavior was positively associated with nuclear centrality for general education boys. Findings are considered in relation to sociometric status research and implications of the role of social network centrality in the establishment and maintenance of antisocial behavior are discussed.

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