Predicting Preschoolers' Peer Status from Their Playground Behaviors


Playgrounds, School year, Preschool children, Reputation, Cooperation, Peer relations, Sociometrics, Human aggression, Peer groups


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between preschoolers' peer behavior and status over a school year by exploring whether early behaviors predicted changes in peer status or vice versa. Children's playground behaviors and peer status were assessed at 3 times during the school year (fall, winter, and spring). Analysis of the behavioral antecedents of status produced some findings that were consistent with those reported for grade school samples. Higher levels of cooperative play at the outset of the school year predicted gains in peer acceptance by the end of the year. Arguing forecasted increases in peer rejection at both the middle and end of the school year. In contrast, early peer status was not found to be predictive of changes in preschoolers' later social or nonsocial behavior. These findings are interpreted in light of past research on children's peer behavior and status.

Original Publication Citation

Ladd, G.W., Price, J.M., & Hart, C.H. (1988). Predicting preschooler's peer status from their playground behaviors and peer contacts. Child Development, 59, 986-992.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Child Development




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor