A Comparison of Teacher and Peer Assessment of Social Status


Previous research has suggested that a simple teacher ranking of popularity can better predict observed social competence than a peer sociometric nomination procedure. This is an important finding as peer-generated sociometric data are difficult and time consuming to collect. In order to further assess this issue, teacher popularity rankings and peer popularity and rejection nominations were collected on 49 kindergarten boys. Additionally, the social interaction behavior of these boys was observed during free play activities. When examining popularity, results were consistent in demonstrating that teachers and peers provide essentially redundant information. However, when peer nominations of rejection were considered, peers did significantly better than teachers in the prediction of observed social behaviors. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for an enhanced understanding of social status constructs.

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Dr. Milich was at the University of Iowa when the article was originally published.