Peer Relationships Among Institutionalized Juvenile Boys
AbstractThis study examined peer relationships (sociometric status and friendship) of institutionalized juvenile males ages 12 to 18. Results replicated previous studies using “normal” nondelinquent samples demonstrating that sociometrically popular status juveniles were evaluated higher on sociability and leadership than were average- or rejected-status juveniles. Furthermore, rejected-status juveniles were evaluated as being more aggressive and more actively isolated than were popular- or average-status juveniles. Investigating the relationship between friendship networks (perceived and reciprocated) and social status revealed no differences. However, differences in relationship quality as a function of sociometric status emerged with rejected-status juveniles evaluating their best-friend relationship as being more caring, intimate, exclusive, and less conflict ridden than popular or average-status juveniles’ evaluations of their best-friend relationships. Findings replicate and extend previous research investigating children’s peer relationships. Implications for future research into the juvenile’s understanding of peer relationships are discussed.