Understanding Low Social Acceptance in Adolescence: Roles of Social Behavior and Representations of Peers
Halcrow, Sarah Ruth
Cassidy, Jude A.
Rubin, Kenneth H.
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The goal of this study was to examine whether social behavior and peer representations would be linked to the extent to which adolescents were socially accepted. Findings indicated that prosocial behavior was positively associated with acceptance whereas aggressive, disruptive, and shy behaviors were negatively associated with acceptance. Results also suggested gender moderated the link between shy behavior and acceptance, such that shy boys were significantly less accepted than shy girls. In contrast, gender did not moderate the links between prosocial, disruptive, and aggressive behavior and acceptance. Although peer representations were negatively linked to acceptance, gender did not significantly moderate these links. Additional findings suggested that prosocial, disruptive, and shy behaviors partially mediated the links between peer representations and acceptance. Contrary to expectations, peer representations partially mediated the links only between acceptance and shy behavior. Implications of findings related to the roles of adolescent social behavior, the moderating role of gender, peer representations, and social acceptance are discussed.