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Girls’ Stable Peer Status And Their Adulthood Adjustment: A Longitudinal Study From Age 10 To Age 43

Peter Zettergren, Lars R. Bergman, Margit Wångby

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Stable peer status clusters of rejected, popular, and average girls from ages 10 to 13 were identified and associated to young and middle adulthood adjustment. The study included a representative sample of 445 females from the longitudinal research program Individual Development and Adaptation. Results showed that, by young adulthood, rejected girls were at increased risks for criminal offending and especially alcohol abuse (two and eight times increased risk, respectively). In midlife, popular girls had achieved a more successful vocational career than average girls. However, for most midlife adjustment areas, like social relations and subjective well-being, there were no significant differences between the stable childhood clusters. To test an incidental explanatory model, childhood confounding variables (aggression, withdrawal, academic achievement, and SES) were introduced and explained some of the significant relations.