This study examined adolescent personality and problem behaviours as predictors of two types of social status: social preference and popularity. Academic track (college preparatory and vocational) and gender were expected to moderate these associations. The sample included 693 students (49.0% female; M = 15.46 years) attending classrooms in two academic tracks (vocational and college preparatory). Participants completed self-report measures of personality and problem behaviours and peer-reports of preference and popularity. Results of structural path analyses indicated that academic track and gender moderated several associations. Specifically, externalising problems were associated with more popularity for males and less preference for females in college preparatory classrooms. Internalising problems were associated with popularity and preference for adolescents in vocational classrooms. The findings illustrate the complexities associated with predicting the social status of male and female adolescents attending different academic tracks. The salience of status norms and implications for intervention programmes are discussed.
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