British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 5 Issue 4 (November 1987), Pages 299-394

The relationship between social—cognitive skills and peer sociometric status (pages 347-356)

The relationships between affective perspective taking, decoding of emotion from facial expression, interpersonal problem solving and peer sociometric status were investigated with 60 kindergarten children aged 3–5 years. Significant, positive correlations were found between affective perspective taking, decoding of facial expression and positive peer nominations. Interpersonal problem‐solving ability however, as measured by number of alternative responses to hypothetical situations, was not found to be a significant correlate of positive or negative peer nominations. When non‐cognitive variables were considered in addition to social—cognitive variables in a fixed‐order, multiple regression analysis, physical attractiveness was found to contribute significantly along with affective perspective taking in the prediction of positive peer nominations. The only variable to predict negative peer nominations was the number of behaviour problems reported by care staff. Subsequent analyses indicated that acting out behaviours were the most important correlate of negative peer status. The implications of the findings for intervention programmes with children who experience poor peer relationships are discussed.

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