Processes of Peer Selection and Influence in Adolescents' Academic Achievement Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Schmid, Lorrie
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • In this dissertation study, I focused on changes in peer affiliations within a grade-based network and students' academic achievement, as measured through curricular grades from 7th to 9th grade. Specifically, my intent was to assess the independent roles of selection and influence on both peer affiliations within the network and grades over time. This study was unique in that I explore the processes of peer selection and influence independently of each other within a statistical modeling framework, stochastic actor modeling, which considers changes in network affiliations as well as changes in individuals' behaviors simultaneously. Stochastic actor modelling using Siena was implemented to examine the following research questions: 1) What is the nature of changes to adolescents' affiliative patterns within the grade-level peer network? 2) To what extent and in what ways do network structural characteristics; (i.e., density, reciprocity, transitivity, and hierarchy), influence affiliative patterns? 3) To what extent and in what ways do individual characteristics derived from network analysis and individual demographic characteristics change the network? 4) To what extent and in what ways do selection and influence account for the co-evolution of changes to peer affiliations within the network and academic achievement? 5) To what extent and in what ways do individual characteristics derived from network analyses and demographic characteristics of adolescents influence academic achievement? 6) To what extent and in what ways do these individual demographic moderate the relationships between peer selection and peer influence, and academic achievement? This study used four waves of data on peer affiliations and academic achievement from the Processes of Peer Influence Study (Golonka et al., 2007), collected from 2002 to 2007, in a magnet school in an urban district in North Carolina. Overall, the results revealed that, 1) processes of peer selection, not influence, were important to understanding academic achievement and 2) different patterns of peer selection occur for African American and European American students. Implications for understanding adolescent peer networks and academic achievement were discussed.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Cizek, Gregory J.
  • Hamm, Jill
  • Costanzo, Philip
  • Ware, William
  • Moody, James
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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