Predictive power of peer behavioral assessment for subsequent maladjustment in community samples of disruptive and nondisruptive children

George M Realmuto, Gerald August, Joel M. Hektner

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11 Scopus citations


In a prospective, longitudinal study with community samples of disruptive and nondisruptive children, the predictive relations between peer-assessed dimensions of behavioral reputation in elementary school and teacher-rated behavioral adjustment and test scores of academic achievement were examined over a 4-year period. The Revised Class Play (RCP), a social role matching instrument completed by students about their classmates, was used to assess behavioral dimensions of children's peer reputation at baseline. Regression analyses showed that the RCP dimensions of aggressive-disruptive, sensitive-isolated, and social etiquette were the best predictors of later teacher-rated externalizing problems, internalizing problems, and subsequent adaptive skills respectively. Only IQ predicted later academic achievement. When IQ and disruptive/nondisruptive group status were added to each regression equation they further contributed as significant predictors. When parent and teacher ratings of behavior problems at baseline were entered jointly with RCP dimensions into regression equations, the peer dimensions further explained outcome variance. Additive effects of the RCP dimensions were found only for the externalizing problems outcome. Disruptive children with mild levels of aggressive behavior and high levels of sensitive-isolated behavior had less externalizing problems at outcome. A comparison of the difference between disruptive and nondisruptive groups in the relationship of baseline RCP scores to teacher outcomes showed no difference between groups, suggesting that the groups did not depart appreciably from their initial differences relative to each other over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Assessment
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Externalizing behavior problems
  • High-risk studies
  • Internalizing behavior problems
  • Peer relationships
  • Peer reputation
  • Pr ediction
  • School children


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