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NCJ Number: 222438 Find in a Library
Title: We Knew Them When: Sixth Grade Characteristics That Predict Adolescent High School Social Identities
Journal: Journal of Early Adolescence  Volume:28  Issue:2  Dated:May 2008  Pages:304-328
Author(s): Margaret R. Stone; Bonnie L. Barber; Jacquelynne S. Eccles
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
William T. Grant Foundation
New York, NY 10022
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study determined whether 9 characteristics of 616 sixth-grade students predicted the social identities they claimed 4 years later.
Abstract: Of the nine characteristics measured--sports competence, academic aptitude, socioeconomic status, academic motivation, self-esteem, social skills, appearance, mixed-sex social activity, and compliance with adult authority--the study found relevance of certain of these characteristics for the following social identifies selected 4 years later: "jocks" (identity based in athletic prowess and affiliation); "brains" (identity in academic performance); "basket case" (identities based in depressed mood and anxiety); "princess" (identity through involvement in pep club, cheerleading, and other school-spirit activities); and "criminals" (self-proclaimed rebels with high rates of substance use and truancy). These identity labels were taken from the movie, "The Breakfast Club." The study found that particular characteristics of the nine measured in the sixth grade significantly predicted the social identities participants selected 4 years later with reference to the school social milieu. Certain social identities were more prominent by gender, depending on the possession of characteristics favoring a specific gender-dominated identity. The relevant matches are reported in detail in this article. Study data came from the Michigan Study of Adolescent Life Transitions, a longitudinal study that began with sixth graders drawn from 10 school districts in Michigan in 1983. When participants were in 10th grade, they were asked to select which character in the movie "The Breakfast Club" best matched their perception of themselves. Discriminant function analysis then examined correlations between characteristics measured in the 6th grade and the social identity selected in the 10th grade. 3 tables, 2 figures, and 65 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Juvenile personality characteristics; Self concept; Social conditions
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