Dynamics of peer relationships across the first two years of junior high as a function of gender and changes in classroom composition

Miranda J. Lubbers, Tom A.B. Snijders, Margaretha P.C. Van Der Werf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the dynamics of peer relationships across the first 2 grades of Dutch junior high schools (average age 13-14). Specifically, we studied how gender and compositional changes in classrooms structured the changes in peer relationships between the 2 grades. Expectations were derived from past research, and we tested whether these held when methods for data analysis were applied that control appropriately for the dependence structure of the data (more specifically, multilevel analysis and a multilevel application of actor-oriented models for network evolution). Analyses revealed that the stability of peer acceptance was relatively low and that it was affected neither by the level of classroom stability nor by gender. Dyadic relationships were moderately stable. Tendencies toward reciprocity, network closure, and gender similarity shaped the changes in networks of peer relationships within classes. Contrary to past findings, female newcomers in classrooms were equally as well accepted as male newcomers or established class members. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Research on Adolescence © 2010 Society for Research on Adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-504
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

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