Relations between social comparison orientation and adjustment in Chinese adolescents: Moderating effects of initial adjustment status

Rui Fu, Xinyin Chen, Junsheng Liu, Dan Li
Published Online:
11 May 2016
Volume/Issue No:
Early View Articles

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This 1‐year longitudinal study examined relations between social comparison orientation (SCO) and socioemotional adjustment and academic achievement. A sample of Grades 7 and 8 students (N = 336, initial M age = 14.08 years) in China participated in the study. Data were collected from self‐reports, peer assessments and school records. It was found that early SCO positively contributed to later academic achievement. Moreover, the relations between early SCO and later socioemotional adjustment were moderated by the initial status of adolescents. Specifically, SCO was positively associated with social competence and negatively associated with depression in initially competent and well‐adjusted adolescents, but the pattern of the associations was opposite in initially incompetent and poorly adjusted adolescents. The results indicate that whereas SCO may contribute directly to academic achievement, its contributions to socioemotional development might depend on adolescents' initial status in adjustment.

© 2016 International Union of Psychological Science