Lisa L. Micou

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Waas, Gregory A.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Child psychology; Interpersonal relations in children; School children--Attitudes; Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--Public opinion


The goal of the present study was to investigate children's perceptions of a hypothetical individual with ADHD-type symptoms who was involved in one of three treatment conditions: cooperating with a higher status peer on a prosocial task with a superordinate goal (i.e., disconfirming behavior approach), associating with a higher status peer (i.e., peer association), and no-treatment control (i.e., alone). Previous research has not adequately assessed the effect of social interventions such as peer pairing on the peer relations of rejected children exhibiting behaviors associated with ADHD. This investigation addressed this paucity in the literature by assessing specific social evaluations made by peers about the rejected child (i.e., causal attributional dimensions, affect, likability and social inclusion, expectations, and trait inferences) to determine differences in social evaluations as a function of peer involvement. The present study included 162 second and fifth graders from suburban/rural communities in Illinois. Participants were read one of three scenarios and then asked a series of questions assessing their perceptions and social attributions of the target child. The current study provided support for the effectiveness of peer pairing as a means of enhancing social status when it is designed as an intervention combining salient disconfirming behavioral information within the context of cooperative learning of social skills with a superordinate goal. This methodology provided the opportunity for the rejected child to disconfirm previously held beliefs, a crucial component that mere association does not offer. Also, interpersonal expectations and causal attributions were determined to be important components in understanding improvements in social status. Further, the current study provided additional evidence for the mediational effect of affect on the relationship between causal attributions and behavior. Finally, the present study suggested the importance of gender and development in assessing children's perceptions of rejected peers.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [98]-107)


v, 165 pages




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