Socioemotional characteristics of elementary school children identified as exhibiting social leadership qualities

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Elementary school teachers identified characteristics in 4 major socioemotional domains associated with children's social leadership: self-perception, social anxiety, attachment orientation with peers, and interpersonal goals and skills in close friendships. Participants were 260 4th- and 5th-grade students (126 boys, 134 girls) from 10 classes in a school in northern Israel. Social leadership skills were associated with positive self-perceptions in various domains, low social anxiety, secure orientation to peers, higher levels of relationship-maintenance goal, lower levels of revenge goal in close friendships, and-unexpectedly-lower levels of accommodation as a strategy to solve conflicts with a friend. Positive self-concept and attachment security were indirectly associated with leadership qualities through their significant association with prosocial orientation skills. The authors discuss these findings as reflecting an internalization of positive model of self and positive model of others in children who exhibit social leadership qualities. The authors also discuss implications of these qualities for school and class ecology, as well as the importance of culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-96
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Childhood
  • Emotional development
  • Leadership
  • School
  • Social development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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