The present research examines the achievement-related implications of establishing friendships with high-achieving versus low-achieving classmates. Fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade students (N = 929) participated. During the fall and spring semesters, the report card grades of children and their friends were obtained and children completed questionnaire measures of their self-evaluative beliefs and preference for challenge. Results suggest that for low-achieving students there are tradeoffs associated with establishing and maintaining friendships with high-achieving classmates. Specifically, low achievers who established and maintained friendships with high-achieving friends evaluated themselves less positively, but also performed better academically, than low achievers with similarly low-achieving friends. Fewer tradeoffs emerged for high achievers.
- Peer relationships
- Social comparison
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)