What is it about?

Some people think that high-achieving students in school have fewer friends or are less liked by their peers. Especially, students who violate others' expectations by performing highly in a school subject that doesn't match widespread gender stereotypes are thought to be excluded more often. This study tested this assumption by using different measures of social integration, like self-ratings and other students' ratings. It was found that higher achievement is generally also related to high social integration. Also, we did not find any signs that boys and girls performing well in opposite-gender stereotyped subjects (language and biology vs. mathematics and physics) were liked less by their peers.

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Why is it important?

This result is important because it shows that students don't necessarily face social stigmata if they are high-achieving in school. On the contrary, high-achieving students also have positive relationships with their peers.


When I realized that our results did not support the hypotheses which were informed by earlier research on achievement and gender stereotypes, I was relieved because I think this is a very encouraging signal to students who fear that high academic achievement might make them uncool.

Claudia Neuendorf
Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen

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This page is a summary of: Comparing different facets of the social integration of high-achieving students in their classroom: No gender stereotyping, but some nonlinear relationships., Journal of Educational Psychology, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/edu0000778.
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