Center for Injury Research and Prevention

The Association Between Forms of Aggression, Leadership, and Social Status Among Urban Youth

TitleThe Association Between Forms of Aggression, Leadership, and Social Status Among Urban Youth
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWaasdorp TEvian, Baker CN, Paskewich B, Leff SS
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Date Published02/2013
KeywordsAdolescent, Adolescent Behavior, aggression, Crime Victims, Ethnic Groups, Female, Hierarchy, Social, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Juvenile Delinquency, Leadership, Male, Peer Group, Social Desirability, United States, Urban Population

While much prior research has documented the negative associations between aggression, peer relationships, and social skills, other research has begun to examine whether forms of aggression also may be associated with prosocial skills and increased social status. However, few studies have examined these associations within diverse samples of elementary aged youth. The current study examined the associations between aggression, popularity, social preference, and leadership among 227 urban, ethnic minority (74 % African American, 9 % bi-racial including African American, 12 % other ethnic minorities, and 5 % European American) elementary school youth (average age 9.5 years, 48.5 % female). Results indicated that in an urban, high risk environment, displaying aggressive behaviors was associated with increased perceived popularity, decreased social preference, and, in some cases, increased perceived leadership. The results also suggested gender differences in the association between the forms of aggression (i.e. relational and overt) and popularity. The current study underscores the importance of examining youth leadership along with forms of aggression and social status among urban minority youth. Implications for future research and aggression prevention programming are highlighted.

Alternate JournalJ Youth Adolesc
PubMed ID23086015
Grant List5 U49 CE001093 / CE / NCIPC CDC HHS / United States
R01MH075787 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R34MH072982 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States