Faculté des lettres

Classroom Peer Influence From the Entire Class, Dominant Students, and Friends

Müller, Christoph ; Hofmann, Verena ; Fleischli, Janine ; Studer, Felix

In: Journal of cognitive education and psychology, 2016, vol. 15, p. 122-145

Recent research indicates that the development of antisocial behavior among students is influenced by the behavioral characteristics of their classmates. However, not all peers in a given class may exert the same influence. Thus, we examined the extent to which individual development is predicted by the perceived proportion of all students with antisocial behavior in the classroom, socially... More

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    Summary
    Recent research indicates that the development of antisocial behavior among students is influenced by the behavioral characteristics of their classmates. However, not all peers in a given class may exert the same influence. Thus, we examined the extent to which individual development is predicted by the perceived proportion of all students with antisocial behavior in the classroom, socially dominant students, and friends. A short-term longitudinal study comprising four measurements was conducted on seventh grade students. In total, 825 students completed self- and peer-reports on aggressive, delinquent, and disruptive classroom behavior. Longitudinal, multilevel negative binomial analyses showed that the perceived characteristics of the entire classroom, dominant students, and friends in one’s class significantly predicted self-reported aggressive and disruptive behavioral development, but not delinquency. The impact of the three social groups under study in this regard did not differ significantly. Classroom effects were independent of students’ out-of-classroom friend influences.