Sex Roles, 2018, Vol.78(9), pp.625-636
The present study examined to what extent selection and influence processes for physical aggression and prosociality in friendship networks differed between sex-specific contexts (i.e., all-male, all-female, and mixed-sex classrooms), while controlling for perceived popularity. Whereas selection processes reflect how behaviors shape friendships, influence processes reveal the reversed pattern by indicating how friends affect individual behaviors. Data were derived from a longitudinal sample of early adolescents from Chile. Four all-male classrooms ( n = 150 male adolescents), four all-female classrooms ( n = 190 female adolescents), and eight mixed-sex classrooms ( n = 272 students) were followed one year from grades 5 to 6 ( M age = 13). Analyses were conducted by means of stochastic-actor-based modeling as implemented in RSIENA. Although it was expected that selection and influence effects for physical aggression and prosociality would vary by context, these effects showed remarkably similar trends across all-male, all-female, and mixed-sex classrooms, with physical aggression reducing and with prosociality increasing the number of nominations received as best friend in all-male and particularly all-female classrooms. Further, perceived popularity increased the number of friendship nominations received in all contexts. Influence processes were only found for perceived popularity, but not for physical aggression and prosociality in any of the three contexts. Together, these findings highlight the importance of both behaviors for friendship selection independent of sex-specific contexts, attenuating the implications of these gendered behaviors for peer relations.
Physical aggression ; Prosociality ; Stochastic-actor based modeling (RSIENA) ; Same-sex/mixed-sex contexts ; Social networks ; Selection ; Influence ; Perceived popularity
View full text in Springer