Children's agreement on classroom social networks: Cross-level predictors in urban elementary schools

Elise Cappella, Jennifer Watling Neal, Neha Sahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Informed by research on interpersonal perception, peer relationships, and classroom climate, this study examines predictors of children's agreement with classmates on their classroom social networks. Social network data, peer nominations of positive behavior, and classroom observations were collected from 418 second-grade to fourth-grade children (99% African American) and 33 teachers and classrooms in low-income, urban schools. Children's perceptions of their classroom social networks varied from minimal overlap to complete congruence with the consensus of their peers. Multilevel modeling with hypothesized predictors indicated that agreement on social relationships was predicted by factors at the level of the individual child (network centrality) and classroom context (grade level, class size, network density, teacher network perception, emotional climate). Findings are discussed in terms of advances in understanding of children's interpersonal perception, as well as implications of network agreement for children's ability to navigate the classroom social and academic learning context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-313
Number of pages29
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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