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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Pam Fitzgerald

First Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Gary Howells


Previous research has shown that dominance hierarchies are an important feature of social organization among adolescents. Previous research also shows that during early adolescence students attempt to both gain and protect a certain level of dominance. Existing data suggests the possibility that children who demonstrate dominance are more likely than others to have positive peer relations. Researchers have not been consistent in how they define dominance. Researchers have also been inconsistent in how they measure dominance. Unfortunately dominance has typically not been studied in relation to children's overall social functioning. The purpose of the present study was to present a useful definition of dominance and to develop an improved assessment tool for measuring dominance in peer groups of children. One hundred and seventy children in Grades 6 and 7 participated in the present study. Children were presented with a 19-item Dominance Questionnaire, a Hierarchical Ranking Scale for dominance and submission, and the Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Questionnaire. Each of the assessment tools was presented to the children in their classrooms. Results indicated there was a moderately strong positive correlation between the 19-item Dominance Questionnaire and the Hierarchical Ranking for dominance. There was a non-significant negative correlation between dominance and loneliness. Post hoc observations of the data indicated there was a significant positive correlation between Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction and the Hierarchical Ranking of submission. A principal component factor analysis indicated there were two components for dominance. These results provide valuable information and help demonstrate that the 19-item Dominance Questionnaire is both a reliable and valid tool for assessing peer perceived dominance in adolescents. Further research on this subject should examine the two different types of dominance discovered in the principal components factor analysis.




9780493159553 , 049315955X

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