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Sociometric Popularity and Leadership Qualities in Classroom

Sociometric Popularity and Leadership Qualities in Classroom


Marek Dobeš, Centre of Social and Psychological Studies of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Social Sciences,

ISSN: 1335-3608


In this article we investigate relationship between sociometric popularity and interpersonal traits connected with leadership qualities in schoolchildren. Many studies focus on development of sociometric popularity among children. Results suggest that sociometric popularity is relatively stable and that sociometric popularity of highly popular and highly unpopular children are the most stable. However, although stable, there is still a substantial variability in sociometric popularity that is not explained. In this study we try to look at why some children that are highly popular remain so and some loose this status. Also we look at why some highly unpopular children remain unpopular and why for some their status changes. This understanding can have important implications for rejected children to help them change their unfavourable status. To enhance our understanding we turn to the research on positive leadership qualities. There is a bulk of research that tries to identify the leadership qualities, mostly in business settings, less so at schools. This study is a first step in our research to better understand differences between classes with positive leaders (popular children with positive leadership qualities) and negative leaders (popular children with negative leadership qualities). Studies suggest that important characteristics of leaders are communication and trust. Leadership literature also distinguishes between transforming and transactional leadership styles, the former being characterised by exhibiting positive leadership behaviours such as individualized consideration and inspirational motivation, that lead towards higher satisfaction of others. Aggression and hostility cannot be perceived as positive traits, however, findings on whether they are supportive or hindering for leadership are mixed. Our results suggest that although being aggressive does not hinder a child from having high sociometric popularity, this popularity is not so stable as popularity of children who are not aggressive. While differing reports on connection of popularity and aggressiveness can be found in the literature, connection of aggressiveness and lower stability of sociometric popularity has not yet been reported. Reports on stability of low sociometric suggest that once a child gains status of a rejected child, it is difficult to change it. There may be several reasons for this, such as correlation of low socioeconomic status that is difficult to change with low sociometric popularity. Our results suggest that a change in communication may be a way to overcome this "status trap". Unlike a change in socioeconomic status of a child, a change in communication can be brought about by proper school interventions.

Bibliografické informácie (sk)

DOBEŠ, Marek. Sociometric Popularity and Leadership Qualities in Classroom. Človek a spoločnosť [Individual and Society], 2016, roč. 19, č. 4, s. 80-85.

Bibliographic information

DOBEŠ, Marek. Sociometric Popularity and Leadership Qualities in Classroom.Človek a spoločnosť [Individual and Society], 2016, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 80-85.

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