A study of 164 adolescents in the U.S. has found that how children perceive their social standing can be just as important as their actual levels of popularity. The researchers interviewed the children at 13 and 14 and also talked to their friends. Regardless of their actual levels of popularity teenagers who felt good about their social standing did well over time becoming increasingly less hostile and more frequently sought out by their peers. Conversely those children who were popular also did well, regardless of their own perceptions of their social standing. Adolescents who lacked both a strong sense of their own social acceptance and who were rated by their peers as unpopular fared the worst becoming more hostile, less sought after and more withdrawn over time.
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