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Average Child

What it Means to be an Average Child

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Definition: "Average children" are somewhat liked by some peers and somewhat disliked by others. No one strongly strongly dislikes or strongly likes an average child.

The term "average children" is used by researchers as a label for one of five types of sociometric (or peer) statuses. Sociometric statuses are an indicator of a child's social standing based on peer responses to that child.

Average children are the comparison group next to which all of the other sociometric statuses-neglected, rejected, popular and controversial - are compared. As a result, one can best understand the unique qualities of average children by learning about the characteristics of children in the other four categories. Average children tend to fare well in school.

Related terms: neglected child, controversial children, popular children, rejected child, sociometric status

Sources:

Furman, Wyndol, McDunn, Christine, and Young, Brennan. The Role of Peer and Romantic Relationships in Adolescent Affective Development. In N. B. Allen & L. Sheeber (Eds.) Adolescent emotional development and the emergence of depressive disorders. 2008. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Wentzel, Kathryn R., & Asher, Steven R. The Academic Lives of Neglected, Rejected, Popular, and Controversial Children. Child Development. 1995. 66:754-763.

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