Relationships Between Peer Victimization, Social Skills, and Sociometric Status in School-Aged Youth
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study investigated the relationships between peer victimization, social skills, and sociometric status in a sample of 224 fifth grade students in a large school district in the southwestern United States. Peer victimization and social skills were assessed using a self-report questionnaire. A peer nomination inventory was used to classify participants according to sociometric status. Social Exchange Theory guided hypotheses regarding the relationships between social skills, peer victimization, and sociometric status, with the idea that students with poor social skills are more likely to be victimized and rejected by peers. Prior research about the relationships between these variables also suggested that social skills and sociometric status would both have an inverse relationship with peer victimization. Statistical analyses did not indicate the presence of significant relationships between any of the three main variables of interest. A statistically significant difference was identified between students who were English Language Learners (ELL) compared to students who were not ELL, such that ELL students reported experiencing less peer victimization than non-ELL students. Several limitations were identified in the present study. For example, confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the data did not fit with the factor structure of the social skills measure. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify a set of items that was subsequently used to represent the participants' social skills score. Sampling bias is also suspected. The participation rate was 47.3 percent. Participation may have been limited due to adults' objections to having students list classmates whom they Liked Least. Ideas for future research are presented.
Degree ProgramGraduate College