Social Goals, Social Status, and Problem Behavior among Low-Achieving and High-Achieving Adolescents from Rural Schools
Journal of Research in Rural Education
The current research examines how social goals and perceptions of what is needed for social status at school relate to school misbehavior and substance use among rural adolescents (N = 683). Results indicate that social goals and perceptions of social status have differential links to problem behaviors depending upon adolescents' achievement. Status social goals where adolescents' indicate that being popular is important are associated with a greater likelihood of alcohol use and school
... and school misbehavior only among high achievers in the sample. In contrast, intimacy social goals to see friends are associated with a lower probability of marijuana use regardless of achievement. Both low-and high-achieving adolescents who perceive that grades are important for high status in school are less likely to use cigarettes and cut classes. High achievers, however, are more likely to engage in school misbehavior when they perceive that college plans are needed for social status; and low achievers are more likely to report cigarette use and that they have been suspended when they perceive the social status of sports to be high. Compared to low achievers, high achievers are less likely to have engaged in problem behaviors, and they report higher levels of social goals, social status of grades and sports, as well as, sports importance and participation.