Presentation Title

Peer Popularity Among Emerging Adults in College

Presenter Information

Monica ChernoffFollow

Faculty Mentor

Andrea Hopmeyer

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 42

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

This research examined what percentage of emerging adults think that popularity, a measure of visibility, prestige, or impact in a peer group, is a relevant dimension of the peer social landscape in college and among those who do, which attributes are associated with popularity and if there are differences by gender and race. The sample included 408 (297 women, 104 men) undergraduate students at a small liberal arts college. Participants completed a short online Qualtrics survey and rated 61 potential descriptors of a popular person on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (a lot). These potential descriptors tapped into three dimensions 1) behavioral attributes ("is well liked", "is a leader", "is disliked") 2) risk taking behaviors ("drinks alcohol", "has multiple sexual partners", "does drugs") and 3) social media presence ("uses snapchat", "has lots of followers"). Participants were also asked to indicate the degree which they believed popularity exists in college on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (a lot). The majority of the participants (86.3%) rated that popularity is a relevant aspect of the peer landscape in college. Three separate univariate factor analysis were conducted. Then, composite scores were created and used in the following analyses. Univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated significant gender and race effects (p < .05). Perceptions of the attributes associated with popularity varied as a function of gender and race. Women more than men endorsed that affluence, admiration, and social media presence were associated with popularity. Caucasians more than non-Caucasians endorsed that admiration, and sexual-, and drug-risk were associated with popularity. The results provide a better understanding of the peer social landscape among emerging adults in college and how popularity looks different from earlier stages in development.

Keywords: emerging adults, college students, popularity, peer status, peer social landscape.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

Peer Popularity Among Emerging Adults in College

CREVELING 42

This research examined what percentage of emerging adults think that popularity, a measure of visibility, prestige, or impact in a peer group, is a relevant dimension of the peer social landscape in college and among those who do, which attributes are associated with popularity and if there are differences by gender and race. The sample included 408 (297 women, 104 men) undergraduate students at a small liberal arts college. Participants completed a short online Qualtrics survey and rated 61 potential descriptors of a popular person on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (a lot). These potential descriptors tapped into three dimensions 1) behavioral attributes ("is well liked", "is a leader", "is disliked") 2) risk taking behaviors ("drinks alcohol", "has multiple sexual partners", "does drugs") and 3) social media presence ("uses snapchat", "has lots of followers"). Participants were also asked to indicate the degree which they believed popularity exists in college on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (a lot). The majority of the participants (86.3%) rated that popularity is a relevant aspect of the peer landscape in college. Three separate univariate factor analysis were conducted. Then, composite scores were created and used in the following analyses. Univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated significant gender and race effects (p < .05). Perceptions of the attributes associated with popularity varied as a function of gender and race. Women more than men endorsed that affluence, admiration, and social media presence were associated with popularity. Caucasians more than non-Caucasians endorsed that admiration, and sexual-, and drug-risk were associated with popularity. The results provide a better understanding of the peer social landscape among emerging adults in college and how popularity looks different from earlier stages in development.

Keywords: emerging adults, college students, popularity, peer status, peer social landscape.