The findings reported here are based on literally hundreds of scientific studies examining the association between childhood popularity and adult outcomes, including a recent worldwide study conducted in Prinstein’s Peer Relations lab specifically examining our recollections of our childhood experiences with popularity. This recent work involved the collection of data from almost 9000 people in North America (52.3%), Europe (20.3%), Asia (18.1%), Oceania/Australia (3.7%), South America (3.2%), and from Africa (2.4%). Participants included more biological females (74%) than biological males (26%), and came from over 130 countries. Their racial composition included 65.8% Caucasian, 17.2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 10.6% Multiracial, 3.8% Black, 2.2% Native American, .2% Colored (South Africa), and .1% Maori. Approximately 10.2% reported Latino/Hispanic ethnic heritage, and 33.1% reported that they were a member of an ethnic minority group within their current country of residence. Each participant responded to the same items presented in this online quiz, and also reported a wide range of their past and current experiences.
The results from this study suggested that even after accounting for the effects of childhood socioeconomic status, their parents’ own psychological difficulties (depression substance use, illegal behavior), their histories of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and disruptive behavior, and their childhood physical health difficulties, it was their popularity group as youth (i.e., Accepted, Rejected, Neglected, Controversial, Average) that was associated with their lives as adults. Childhood popularity was associated with their adult health status, work performance, substance use, body mass index, romantic relationship status/quality, happiness, self-esteem, psychological symptoms, and even the popularity of their children.
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