Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teens' Perception That They Are Liked Found To Be At Least As Important As Actually Being Liked

Date:
May 15, 2008
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Interviews conducted among ethnically and socio-economically diverse 13- and 14-year olds found that teens who felt good about their social standing did well over time, regardless of their actual popularity. These teens who had positive perceptions of their own social success were increasingly less hostile and more frequently sought out by their peers as compared to teens who lacked a strong sense of their own social acceptance and were rated as unpopular by their peers.

We all know that children who are popular do well socially. A new study has found that teenagers who feel good about themselves and are comfortable with their peers can also be socially successful without being popular in the traditional sense.

These findings come from researchers at the University of Virginia. Researchers studied 164 adolescents from racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse backgrounds. The teens were interviewed at age 13 and then again at 14. The researchers also interviewed the adolescents' same-sex close friends.

Teenagers who felt good about their own social standing did well over time, the study found, regardless of how popular they were (popularity was gauged based on assessments by peers at school). These teenagers were increasingly less hostile and more frequently sought out by their peers. Teenagers who were considered popular by their peers also did well, regardless of their own perceptions of their social standing.

Adolescents who lacked both a strong sense of their own social acceptance and who were rated by their peers as unpopular fared the worst, according to the study. They were increasingly more hostile, less sought out, and more withdrawn over time.

These findings, say the researchers, highlight the importance of considering social acceptance in adolescence from a multifaceted view. In adolescence, as groupings of individuals change, often growing larger than they were in elementary school, the meaning of popularity as defined by classmates can diverge from teens' own sense of their social acceptance. A complete understanding of how teens function at this developmental stage should take into consideration both teens' own sense of their social standing and ratings from their peers.

"During adolescence, teens' perceptions of their own social success may be a crucial predictor of long-term social functioning, such that even teens who are not broadly popular may demonstrate positive adjustment over time if they maintain a positive internal sense of their social acceptance," according to Kathleen Boykin McElhaney, research associate in psychology at the University of Virginia and the lead author of the study.

"Perceiving oneself to be liked may actually be at least as critical in determining future social outcomes for teens as is actually being liked by other teens," says McElhaney, who called adolescents' feelings of confidence in their own social standing a "protective factor."


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.


Journal Reference:

  1. They Like Me, They Like Me Not?: Adolescents' Perceptions of Acceptance Predicting Changing Social Functioning Over Time. McElhaney, KB, Antonishak, J, and Allen, JP (University of Virginia). Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 3. (May/June 2008).

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Teens' Perception That They Are Liked Found To Be At Least As Important As Actually Being Liked." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073014.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2008, May 15). Teens' Perception That They Are Liked Found To Be At Least As Important As Actually Being Liked. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073014.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Teens' Perception That They Are Liked Found To Be At Least As Important As Actually Being Liked." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515073014.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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