Personality and problem behaviours as predictors of adolescents’ social status: academic track and gender as moderators

Mireille D. Hubers*, William J. Burk, Eliane Segers, Marloes Kleinjan, Ron H.J. Scholte, Antonius H.N. Cillessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examined adolescent personality and problem behaviours as predictors of two types of social status: social preference and popularity. Academic track (college preparatory and vocational) and gender were expected to moderate these associations. The sample included 693 students (49.0% female; M = 15.46 years) attending classrooms in two academic tracks (vocational and college preparatory). Participants completed self-report measures of personality and problem behaviours and peer-reports of preference and popularity. Results of structural path analyses indicated that academic track and gender moderated several associations. Specifically, externalising problems were associated with more popularity for males and less preference for females in college preparatory classrooms. Internalising problems were associated with popularity and preference for adolescents in vocational classrooms. The findings illustrate the complexities associated with predicting the social status of male and female adolescents attending different academic tracks. The salience of status norms and implications for intervention programmes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1461
Number of pages19
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • Big Five
  • personality
  • problem behaviour
  • social outcomes
  • social status


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