Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

The Influence of Diverse Interaction Contexts on Students' Sociometric Status

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

The Influence of Diverse Interaction Contexts on Students' Sociometric Status

Article excerpt

Despite there being numerous studies on sociometric status, research that analyzes this variable from a contextualized viewpoint taking into account the different school settings in which a pupil establishes relationships is rare. The aim of this study is to analyze the stability of sociometric status in different school settings. For this purpose, 522 students filled in a sociometric questionnaire that investigated two different settings: the academic setting, which refers to the formal classroom setting; and the leisure setting, which investigates a more informal and playful setting like the playground. The main results indicate that identification percentages are almost the same in both settings. Nonetheless, all sociometric types are contextually dependent, and some are more dependent than others. Thus, rejection is observed as being the most independent of context, whereas the most dependent is that of controversial pupils. Differential analyses show that sex modifies the results obtained. It is shown that, excluding a few exceptions, combinations of sociometric types in both settings investigated can be made. These results are discussed in connection with the methodology used to identify sociometric types and their practical implication for better school adjustment.

Keywords: sociometric status, contextual analysis, school settings, classroom, playground.

A pesar de que es numerosa la investigación sobre el estatus sociométrico, son escasos los trabajos que analizan dicha variable desde un enfoque contextualizado que tenga en cuenta los diferentes contextos escolares en los que los alumnos establecen relaciones. El objetivo de este trabajo es analizar la estabilidad del estatus sociométrico en los diferentes contextos escolares. Para ello, 522 estudiantes cumplimentaron un cuestionario sociométrico que indagaba en dos contextos diferentes: el académico, que hace referencia a las actividades de tipo instruccional, y el de ocio, que indaga en las actividades más informales y lúdicas. Los principales resultados indican que los porcentajes de identificación son prácticamente los mismos en los dos contextos. No obstante, todos los tipos sociométricos tienen dependencia contextual, aunque unos son más dependientes que otros. Así, se observa que el rechazo es el tipo más independiente del contexto, mientras que el más dependiente es el de los alumnos controvertidos. Además, se encontraron algunas diferencias en función de sexo. Por último, se comprueba que, salvo algunas excepciones, se pueden dar combinaciones de todos los tipos sociométricos en los dos escenarios explorados. Estos resultados se discuten en función de la metodología utilizada para identificar los tipos sociométricos y de sus implicaciones prácticas para la mejora de la adaptación escolar.

Palabras clave: estatus sociométrico, análisis contextual, contextos escolares, aula, patio.

The importance of peer relationships for cognitive, affective, and social development is widely recognized (Fuentes, 1999; Gifford-Smith & Brownell, 2003; López, 2008; Moreno, 1990; Trianes, Muñoz, & Jiménez, 2007), and it has generated great interest in methods for its study. Within them, sociometric analysis has been shown to be an adequate tool to study peer relationships and it has been mainly used within the school setting. Research of sociometric status in the school setting has shown it to be a variable that is directly related to school adaptation, at the academic, social, and affective levels (Buhs, Ladd, & Herald, 2006; Bukowski, Newcomb, & Hartup, 1998; Díaz-Aguado, 2006; Dodge, Coie, Pettit, & Price, 1990; Ladd, Herald-Brown, & Reiser, 2008; McElhaney, Antonishak, & Allen, 2008; Ortega & Mora-Merchán, 2008; Ortiz, Aguirrezabala, Apodaka, Etxebarría, & López, 2002).

Sociometric techniques are based on the number of nominations-both positive and negative-that a student receives from his or her classmates. …

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