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Heterogeneity of Popular Boys Antisocial and Prosocial Configurations The move from conceptualizing unpopular children as a uniform group to recognizing distinct configurations of unpopular children has been a key area of progress in the study of childrens peer relationships Rubin Bukowski Parker 1998 Some unpopular eg peer rejected children are highly aggressive others are extremely withdrawn still others are both aggressive and withdrawn and others still resist classification along externalizing or internalizing dimensions Cillessen van IJzendoorn van Lieshout Hartup 1992 Coie Koeppl 1990 French 1988 Rubin LeMare Lollis 1990 Different configurations of unpopular children vary in their self-perceptions and in the quality of their interpersonal relationships Bierman Smoot Aumiller 1993 Boivin Bgin 1989 Hartup Stevens 1997 Hymel Bowker Woody 1993 Patterson Kupersmidt Griesler 1990 For example Bierman et al found that aggressive-rejected boys were more argumentative and disruptiv e but less shy awkward and socially insensitive than rejected boys who were not aggressive Hymel et al found that aggressive-unpopular and aggressive-withdrawn-unpopular children overestimated their social competencies but nonaggressive-withdrawn-unpopular children accurately detailed their social problems see also Boivin Hymel 1997 Zakriski Coie 1996 Longitudinal studies indicate that rejected-aggressive boys relative to nonaggressive-rejected and aggressive-nonrejected boys follow a distinct developmental trajectory leading to increased risk for later adjustment difficulties Bierman Wargo 1995 Coie Terry Lenox Lochman Hyman 1995 In helping researchers clarify the meaning of unpopularity and in tailoring interventions to the distinctive profiles and needs of different children the recognition of heterogeneity has been critical Studies of heterogeneity tend not to examine children who are popular with their peers Perhaps knowledge of heterogeneity among popular children is of little practical use to the preventionist if all popular children can be aptly characterized as prosocial or if some popular children excel academically while others are attractive athletic and friendly However if some popular children are also antisocial they may be
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