Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joseph C. Witt


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the usefulness of the classification system developed by Coie and his colleagues (1982) with an adolescent population by examining the relationship between sociometric status and psychopathology. Five hundred thirty-one seventh- through ninth-grade students participated in the study. Following the Coie et al. (1982) procedure, children were identified as either popular, rejected, neglected, controversial, or average. The basis for status group membership was scores adolescents received on positive and negative peer nominations. Four social status variables were derived from these measures: (a) liked most peer nomination scores, (b) liked least peer nomination scores, (c) social impact scores, and (d) social preference scores. Following the administration of the liked most and liked least nomination measures, participants were asked to complete self-report instruments regarding their problem behaviors. In addition, teachers were asked to complete measures which assess the problem behaviors of children identified as members of the various status groups. Scores obtained from self- and teacher-ratings were analyzed using multivariate and univariate statistical analyses. Findings suggested that adolescents classified as rejected and controversial exhibited both internalizing and externalizing disorders, as measured by teacher-ratings, to a greater extent than did popular and average adolescents. Neglected adolescents' scores did not differ significantly from average or popular adolescents. Rejected children also received higher scores than popular children on self-ratings of internalizing disorders. No significant differences between status groups were found for self-ratings of externalizing disorders. Further, teacher-ratings of internalizing and externalizing disorders correlated significantly with liked most nomination scores, liked least nomination scores, and social preference scores. Social impact scores correlated significantly with teacher-ratings of internalizing disorders. Finally, self-ratings of internalizing disorders showed a significant relationship with liked most nomination scores, liked least nomination scores, and social preference scores.