Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early Behavior Problems Appear To Lead To Peer Rejection And Friendlessness

Date:
July 22, 2007
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Rejection and lack of friends in elementary school has been linked to behavior problems in the early grades. Rejection and lack of friends did not put children at risk for delinquency, but early disruptiveness did. Researchers used reports of children's level of anxiety and disruptiveness at ages 6 and 7, combined with measures of peer relationship several years later. These measures were then compared against depression, loneliness, and delinquency at ages 12 and 13.

Rejection and lack of friends in elementary school has been linked to behavior problems in the early grades. Rejection and lack of friends did not put children at risk for delinquency, but early disruptiveness did.

Related Articles


Researchers used reports of children's level of anxiety and disruptiveness at ages 6 and 7, combined with measures of peer relationship several years later. These measures were then compared against depression, loneliness, and delinquency at ages 12 and 13.

Behavior problems in the early grades appear to lead to peer rejection and a lack of friends in elementary school. This, in turn, can lead to early adolescent depression and loneliness.

Those are the findings of a new study by researchers at the Universities of Montreal and Oslo; the study is published in the July/August 2007 issue of the journal Child Development.

Researchers collected information from 551 children beginning when the children were 6 years old and continuing annually until they were 13. They also collected information from the children's teachers, mothers, and peers.

Specifically, teachers and mothers described the children's levels of anxiety (including a tendency to prefer solitary play and to fear new situations) and their disruptiveness (including physical aggression and hyperactivity) when the children were 6 and 7. Classroom peers reported on the children they liked most and least each year from ages 8 to 11. Children reported how many friends they had each year from ages 8 to 11, as well as their own levels of depression, loneliness, and involvement with delinquent behaviors at ages 12 and 13.

The researchers found that children who were disruptive in early childhood were more likely to be rejected and lack friends in elementary school. Anxious children also tended to have few friends, although they were not more likely to be rejected by their peers.

The study also found that rejection contributes to the risk that children won't have friends. Children who are rejected early in elementary school are more likely to lack friends later in elementary school.

Both rejection and a lack of friends in elementary school put children at risk for adjustment problems in adolescence, the researchers found. Specifically, children who are rejected in elementary school are more likely to be lonely as adolescents, while children who lack friends in the early grades--a critical time for the development of close, reciprocal relationships--are more likely to be lonely and depressed as teenagers. In contrast, rejection and a lack of friends don't put children at risk for delinquency--only early disruptiveness does that.

"The study's findings indicate that the developmental consequences of risky peer relations are not limited to childhood," according to Sara Pedersen, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montreal's Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment and lead author of the study. "These results suggest that interventions to prevent adolescent depression and loneliness should target elementary school peer relationships. The results also reveal that interventions targeting only childhood rejection and friendlessness are unlikely to prevent later delinquency."

Reference: Child Development, Vol. 78, Issue 4, The Timing of Middle Childhood Peer Rejection and Friendship: Linking Early Behavior to Early Adolescent Adjustment by Pedersen, S, Vitaro, F, Barker, ED (University of Montreal), and Borge, AIH (University of Oslo).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Early Behavior Problems Appear To Lead To Peer Rejection And Friendlessness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070720100019.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2007, July 22). Early Behavior Problems Appear To Lead To Peer Rejection And Friendlessness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070720100019.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Early Behavior Problems Appear To Lead To Peer Rejection And Friendlessness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070720100019.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) Ruby Holt spent most of her 100 years on a farm in rural Tennessee, picking cotton and raising four children. She saw the ocean for the first time thanks to her assisted living center and a group that grants wishes to the elderly. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins