Using social network data, this study examines which features of social and spatial proximity predict self-reported, or "real," and peer-reported, or "inferred," relationships among 2,695 pairwise combinations of African American second- through fourth-grade students (aged 7-11). Relationships were more likely to exist, and more likely to be inferred to exist by peers, between pairs of children who were the same sex, sat near one another, shared a positive academic orientation, or shared athletic ability. Sex similarity had a dramatically larger effect on peers' inferences about relationships than on self-reported real relationships, suggesting that children overestimate the importance of gender in their inferences about relationships. Results were stable across different grade levels in middle childhood and for boys and girls.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology