The Influence of Teachers’ Preferences on Children’s Social Status in Schools

  •  Hui Jing Lu    
  •  Kitty Y. Fung    
  •  Jo Ann Farver    
  •  Bin Bin Chen    
  •  Lei Chang    


This study reconceptualizes and operationalizes peer status in elementary school classrooms by considering both teachers’ and peers’ preferences. Within this framework, a sample of 1411 students (Grades 1-6) in Hong Kong were classified into four types based on combinations of their peers’ and teachers’ preference scores: (1) popular stars—those liked by both peers and teachers; (2) teachers’ pets—those liked by teachers but not by peers; (3) students’ heroes—those liked by peers but not by teachers; and (4) rejected—those disliked by both peers and teachers. Results of MANOVA tests revealed significant differences among the four status groups in their leadership, aggression, social withdrawal, and academic performance. Path analyses showed both similarities and differences among the four status groups in terms of students’ attributes and how they predicted teachers’ and peers’ preferences.

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