Popularity refers to an individual’s status position among peers and reflects the hierarchical ordering or status hierarchy in the peer group. Specifically, popularity refers to which children and adolescents are considered as popular, admirable, or cool by their peers and which children are attractive to affiliate with. As popularity is always relative to other people, it is inherently competitive; not everybody can be popular. This entry describes how popularity develops from childhood into adulthood. According to this description, popularity is not the same as being liked or having many friends, which has been labeled as peer acceptance or likeability.

Different Forms of Peer Status

The distinction between the concepts of popularity and peer acceptance originates from sociometric research on different status groups in the 1980s. In this ...

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