Gender Segregation in Peer Relationships and its Association with Peer Reputation

  1. Eduardo Martín 1
  2. Ángela Torbay 1
  3. Cristo Guerra-Hernández 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna

    Universidad de La Laguna

    San Cristobal de La Laguna, España



ISSN: 0214-9915 1886-144X

Year of publication: 2021

Volume: 33

Issue: 2

Pages: 244-250

Type: Article

More publications in: Psicothema


Background: Segregation by gender when relating to peers is a well-known phenomenon, with important implications for the development of children and adolescents. The objective of this study was to deeply analyze the intra and intergender relationships that young people establish with their peers, as well as the link that these relationships have with social reputation. Method: 593 youngsters (50.1% girls) from 5th and 6th years of Primary Education, and 1st and 2nd years of Compulsory Secondary Education (CSE) completed a sociometric test and a social reputation test. Results: The main results indicate that girls had a higher number of positive reciprocities with other girls, whereas boys tended to have conflictive intragender relationships. We confirmed that the relationships between the different sociometric indices and social reputation were different in boys and girls. Thus, for example, aggression and sociability were differently related to the establishment of intergender relationships in boys and girls. Conclusions: The results related to previous research are discussed, and some possible educational implications are noted.

Bibliographic References

  • Amemiya, J., & Wang, M. T. (2017). Transactional relations between motivational beliefs and help-seeking from teachers and peers across adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(8), 1743-1757. 10.1007/s10964-016-0623-y
  • Baines, E., & Blatchford, P. (2009). Sex differences in the structure and stability of children playground social networks and their overlap with friendship relations. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27(3), 743-760.
  • Card, N. A., Hodges, E. V. E., Little, T. D., & Hawley, P. H. (2005). Gender effects in peer nominations for aggression and social status. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29(2), 146-155.
  • Cheng, X., Chang, L., He, Y., & Liu, H. (2005). The peer group as a context: Moderating effects on relations between maternal parenting and social and school adjustment in Chinese children. Child Development, 76(2), 417-434.
  • Ciarrochi, J., Parker, P. D., Sahdra, B. K., Kashdan, T. B., Kiuru, N., & Conigrave, J. (2017). When empathy matters: The role of sex and empathy in close friendship. Journal of Personality, 85(4), 494-504.
  • Cillesen, A. H. N., & Bukowski, W. M. (2000). Conceptualizing and measuring peer acceptance and rejection. In A.H.N. Cillesen & W.M. Bukowski (Eds.), Recent advances in the measurement of acceptance and rejection in the peer system (pp. 3-10). Josey-Bass.
  • Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Erlbaum.
  • Crapanzano, A., Frick, P. J., Childs, K., & Terranova, A. M. (2011). Gender differences in the assessment, stability, and correlates to bullying roles in middle school children. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 29(5), 677-694.
  • Díaz-Aguado, M. J. (2006). Escuela y tolerancia [School and tolerance]. Pirámide.
  • Dijkstra, J. K., & Berger, C. (2018). Friendship selection and influence processes for physical aggression and prosociability: Differences between single-sex and mixed-sex contexts. Sex Roles, 78(9-10), 625-636.
  • Freitas, M., Santos, A. J., Ribeiro, O., Daniel, J. R., & Rubin, K. H. (2019). Prosocial behavior and friendship quality as moderators of the association between anxious withdrawal and peer experiences in Portuguese young adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2783.
  • García-Bacete, F. J., Sureda, I., & Monjas, M. I. (2008). Sociometric distribution of boys and girls during all the schooling period. Revista de Psicología Social, 23(1), 63-74.
  • García-Bacete, F. J., Sureda, I., & Monjas, M. I. (2010). Peer rejection in elementary school: A general outlook. Anales de Psicología, 26(1), 123-136.
  • Gifford-Smith, M. E., & Brownell, C. A. (2003). Childhood peer relationships: Social acceptance, friendship and peer networks. Journal of School Psychology, 41(4), 235-284.
  • Kurtz-Costes, B., Copping, K. E., Rowley, S. J., & Kinlaw, C. R. (2014). Gender and age differences in awareness and endorsement of gender stereotypes about academic abilities. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 29(4), 603-618. 10.1007/s10212-014-0216-7
  • Lee, E. (2009). The relationship of aggression and bullying to social preference: Differences in gender and types of aggression. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 33(4), 323-330.
  • Lee, I. A., & Preacher, K. J. (2013). Calculation for the test of the difference between two dependent correlations with no variable in common [Computer software].
  • Martin, C., Fabes, R., & Hanish, L. (2014). Gendered-peer relationships in educational contexts. In L. Liben & R. Bigler (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior, Vol. 47 (pp. 151-187). Academic Press.
  • Martín, E. (2016). Gender differences in social reputation and peer rejection at school. Cultura y Educación, 28(3), 539-564.
  • Martín, E., & Muñoz de Bustillo, M. C. (2009a). A contextual analysis of peer acceptance and peer rejection at school. Psicothema, 21(3), 439-445.
  • Martín, E., & Muñoz de Bustillo, M. C. (2009b). School adjustment of children in residential care: A multi-source analysis. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 12(2), 462-470.
  • Masten, A. S., Morison, P., & Pellegrini, D. S. (1985). A revised class play method of peer assessment. Developmental Psychology, 21(3), 523-533.
  • McEachen, A. D., & Snyder, J. (2012). Gender differences in predicting antisocial behaviors: Developmental consequences and physical and relational aggression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(4), 501-512.
  • Mehta, C. M., & Strough, J. (2009). Sex segregation in friendship and normative contexts across the life span. Developmental Psychology, 29(3), 201-220. 10.1016/j.dr.2009.06.001
  • Mrug, S., Borch, C., & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2011). Other sex friendship in late adolescence: Risky association for substance use and sexual debut? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(7), 875-888.
  • Muñoz, M. V., Jiménez, I., & Moreno, M. C. (2008). Peer assessment of social behaviour and gender in adolescence. Anales de Psicología, 24(2), 334-340.
  • Plazas, E. A., Morón-Cortés, M. L., Santiago, A., Sarmiento, H., ArizaLópez, S. E., & Patiño, C. D. (2010). Peer relations, pro-social behavior and gender from elementary school to college in Colombia. Universitas Psychologica, 9(2), 357-369.
  • Rabaglietti, E., Vacirca, M. F., & Pakalniskiene, W. (2014). Social-emotional competence and friendship: Prosocial behavior and lack of behavioral self-regulation as predictors of quantity and quality of friendships in middle childhood. European Journal of Child Development, Education and Psychopathology, 1(1), 5-20.
  • Rodríguez, A., & Morera, D. (2001). El sociograma: estudio de las relaciones informales en las organizaciones [Sociometric questionnaire: Study of the informal relationships at organizations]. Pirámide.
  • Rose, A. J., & Rudolph, K. D. (2006). Review of sex differences in peer relationship processes: Potential trade-offs for the emotional and behavioral development of girls and boys. Psychological Bulletin, 132(1), 98-131.
  • Shaffer, D.R. (2002). Desarrollo social y de la personalidad [Social and personality development]. Thomson.
  • Trianes, M. V., Muñoz, A. M., & Jiménez, M. (2007). Las relaciones sociales en la infancia y en la adolescencia y sus problemas [Social relationships in childhood and adolescence and its problems]. Pirámide.
  • Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2019). Using multivariate statistics (7th ed.). Pearson.
  • van de Schoot, R., van der Velden, F., Boom, J., & Brugman, D. (2010). Can at-risk young adolescents be popular and anti-social? Sociometric status groups, anti-social behavior, gender and ethnic background. Journal of Adolescence, 33(5), 583-592.
  • van Rijsewijk, L., Dijkstra, J. K., Pattiselanno, K., Steglich, C., & Veenstra, R. (2016). Who helps whom? Investigating the development of adolescent prosocial relationships. Developmental Psychology, 52(6), 894-908.
  • Zander, L., Chen, I., & Hannover, B. (2019). Who asks whom for help in mathematics? A sociometric analysis of adolescents’ helpseeking within and beyond clique boundaries. Learning and Individual Differences, 72, 49-58. lindif.2019.03.002
  • Zeller, M., Vannatta, K., Schafer, J., & Noll, R. B. (2003). Behavioral reputation: A cross-age perspective. Developmental Psychology, 39(1), 129-139.