A comparison of peer acceptance of first-born and last-born children Public Deposited

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  • This study is a comparison of the extent of acceptance by peers in first-born children and last-born children. The following hypothesis was tested: There is no difference in peer acceptance of the first-born child as compared to the last-born child. The subjects were students between the ages of 11 years 10 months and 14 years 5 months in attendance at North Albany Junior High School, Albany, Oregon, during the school year 1967-1968. The total number of subjects tested was 500. The final group of first-and last-born children totaled 184 subjects. In order to test the hypothesis, an adaptation of the Peer Nomination Inventory developed by Wiggins and Winder (1961) was used to measure the number of nominations a child received from his peers. The test consists of 59 statements which describe behaviors that may be observed in peers in a row down the left hand side of the page. On the right-hand side of the page is a column in which to write the name of the person who best fits the statement. The subject's raw score of acceptance was the number of total nominations that he received. The raw scores were ranked and analyzed by the Wilcoxon- Mann-Whitney Test which measures the degree of association existing between the means of two independent samples. Significance at the .05 level was found to exist only when comparing the total nominations of first-born and last-born children. No significance was found when comparing first-born males and females; last-born males and females; first-born and last-born males; and, first-born and last-born females. Subjects with an extremely high number of nominations were then taken out and the data was re-analyzed using the Wilcoxon-Mann- Whitney Test. Significance (p = .05) existed in all groups except for the first-born males vs. first-born females. Several factors were reviewed that may have accounted for a lack of significance in most groups compared: 1) The appearance of several male subjects who received an extremely high number of nominations. 2) Another possible explanation might be the slight changes in wording made in the PNI which were made to adapt it to the age level of the subjects tested. 3) The large sample used in this study may not be as effective as it is with a smaller sample due to the necessity of recalling the names of a large number of peers for the PNI. Several research directions seem justified on the basis of this study: 1) repetition of this study with a smaller sample. 2) testing hypotheses concerning different ordinal positions as related to peer acceptance. 3) repetition of this study using a different instrument.
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