I N recent years, an increasing volume of research has been devotedto identifying the characteristics of children who are either popularwith or rejected by their peers. This research has been stimulated by studies indicating (a) that interaction with peers plays an important role in the development of several cognitive, emotional, and social skills during childhood (see the review of Hartup, 1983), and (b) that children rejected by peers experience significantly higher levels of personal and social maladjustment later in life (see the reviews of Burleson, 1986; Ladd & Asher, 1985). Researchers examining the correlates of acceptance by peers have found peer popularity associated with several physical and demographic characteristics (see Asher, Oden, & Gottman, 1977; Hartup, 1983). More interesting, however, are the results of studies indicating that certain cognitive and behavioral characteristics can be used to distinguish between popu1ar and rejected children. For example, popularity with peers has been found positively associated with displaying a positive interactional style, dis-

pensing positive reinforcement, initiating friendly approaches to other children, support giving and nurturance, and cooperative and normfollowing behavior (for example, Coie & Kupersmidt, 1983; Hartup, Glazer, & Charlesworth, 1967; Ladd, 1983; Rubin & Daniels-Beirness, 1983). In contrast, rejection by peers has been found to be associated with verbal abuse and physical aggression, disruptive or off-task behavior, negative reinforcement, and inappropriate initiations of interaction (Dodge, 1983; Dodge, Coie, & Brakke, 1982; Ladd, 1983; Vosk, Forehand, Parker, & Rickard, 1982).