Date of Graduation


Document Type



This study examined whether socially neglected, rejected, and/or behaviorally withdrawn girls differed from peers on measures of internalizing behaviors, namely depression and anxiety. Two-hundred thirty-two third through fifth grade girls were classified along two dimensions of a 4 x 2 factorial design: peer status (popular, rejected, neglected, average) and withdrawal status (withdrawn, not withdrawn). One-hundred twenty-nine girls fit into subject groups and completed the Child Depression Inventory, the Children's Attributional Style Questionnaire, and the Social Anxiety Scale for Children. Their parents completed the Child Depression Inventory and the Child Behavior Checklist on their daughters. Teachers completed the Child Behavior Checklist - Teacher Report Form. Dunn's test planned comparisons and chi-square analyses of the association between peer and withdrawal status and high scores on the dependent measures suggested that in general, neglected girls do not differ from peers on measures of depression and anxiety, although they may be more likely than expected by chance to score high on some measures. Rejected and withdrawn girls showed evidence of more internalizing-type problems, relative to their peers. While the combination of neglect and withdrawal was not associated with increased scores on these measures, the combination of rejection and withdrawal was associated with more teacher-reported internalizing behaviors. Correlational analyses suggested that social preference and percent of time spent playing alone vs. with peers were associated with depression and anxiety, but social impact, a defining feature of neglected status, was not. Correlations also indicated that convergence across measures of different behaviors was generally no higher than convergence across measures of the same behaviors, suggesting that dependent measures may have been assessing a more general internalizing pattern of behavior, or "negative affectivity," than depression or anxiety specifically. The results are discussed in terms of implications for the concept of social neglect, the use of peer relations assessment methods to identify children at risk for internalizing-type adjustment problems, and the specificity of internalizing-type behaviors.