Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Lemerise (Director), Dr. Carl Myers, Dr. Elizabeth Jones

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


Mutual antipathies are rare among preschoolers and are common among older school age children, but little is known about the prevalence of mutual antipathies among younger school age children. One goal of this study was to examine the prevalence of mutual antipathies among first graders to determine if they are common among younger children. A second goal of the study was to examine the impact of friendship and mutual antipathies on children’s social behavior and social cognition. A sample of first, third, and fifth graders (N = 512) first completed rating and nomination sociometric assessments to assess participation in friendships and mutual antipathies. On a different day, children viewed video-taped ambiguous provocation stimuli in which provocateur’s emotions were systematically manipulated (happy, angry, and sad). They then rated six different social goals and gave problem-solving responses. Mutual antipathies were found to be common among first through fifth graders, with 42 to 66 percent of children participating in antipathy dyads. Children’s participation in friendship and mutual antipathy relationships had effects on both peer-nominated social behaviors and social cognition, even when statistically controlling for the effect of peer rejection.


Child Psychology | Cognitive Psychology | Psychology