This project examines the adjustment sequelae of perceived popularity beyond high school, and the moderating role of relational aggression (RA) in this process. Yearly sociometric measures of popularity and RA were gathered across grades 9–12 for a sample of 264 adolescents in a lower-middle-class high school. In addition, data on post–high school adjustment were collected from three yearly self-report assessments of depression, psychopathology, workplace victimization, and risk behavior. Results revealed a positive association between popularity in high school and risk behaviors in emerging adulthood, after controlling for prior levels of risk behaviors. In addition, the combination of low popularity and high RA was associated with higher levels of adjustment problems for boys across all adjustment measures, after controlling for prior levels of adjustment. Finally, RA in high school emerged as double-edged sword for girls. For girls, high levels of RA in high school were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms, but higher levels of workplace victimization in emerging adulthood. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Sandstrom, Marlene J. and Cillessen, Antonius H. N.
"Life After High School
Adjustment of Popular Teens in Emerging Adulthood,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 56:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol56/iss4/3