Educational expectation of peer group in class and adolescents: the effects of social conformity and social comparison

CAO Rui1 WU Yuxiao1

(1.School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Nanjing University)

【Abstract】Based on the data of the China Education Panel Study (CEPS) for the 2014–2015 academic year, this paper discusses the influence of class peers on the educational expectation of adolescents. The results show that, under the influence of the social conformity effect, the educational expectation of adolescents increases with the increase of the average educational expectation of the class; under the influence of the social comparison effect, the educational expectation of adolescents decreases with the increase of the average academic performance of the class; the heterogeneity level of the competence composition of peer group has a positive impact on the educational expectation of adolescents; adolescents’ own academic performance can moderate the intensity of related influencing factors; the better a student’s performance is, the greater the positive impact of the conformity effect will be; and the worse his or her performance is, the greater the negative impact of the comparison effect will be, and the greater the positive impact of the heterogeneity level will be.

【Keywords】 reference group; peer effect; social conformity; social comparison; educational expectation;


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(Translated by SU Fang)


    [1]. (1) The family planning policy has been adjusted in recent years. However, the “post-2000” and “post-1990” generations, as the only child, are still the main part of the current adolescent population. [^Back]

    [2]. (2) In order to test the robustness of the conclusions above, the authors generate a binary variable of whether an individual wishes to go to a four-year university. Using this as a dependent variable, the authors use the logistic model of school fixed effect to conduct estimation, and the results are consistent with the overall pattern shown in tables 4, 2 and 3. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 05, Pages 25-33+94-95

September 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literature review and research hypotheses
  • 3 Research design
  • 4 Research results
  • 5 Conclusion and discussion
  • Footnote