A Brief Measure of Peer Affiliation and Social Acceptance (PASA): Validity in an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Early Adolescents

Thomas J. Dishion, Hanjoe Kim, Elizabeth A. Stormshak, Maya O'Neill

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to conduct a multiagent-multimethod analysis of the validity of a brief measure of deviant peer affiliations and social acceptance (PASA) in young adolescents. Peer relationships are critical to child and adolescent social and emotional development, but currently available measures are tedious and time consuming. The PASA consists of a youth, parent, and teacher report that can be collected longitudinally to study development and intervention effectiveness. This longitudinal study included 998 middle school students and their families. We collected the PASA and peer sociometrics data in Grade 7 and a multiagent-multimethod construct of deviant peer clustering in Grade 8. Confirmatory factor analyses of the multiagent-multimethod data revealed that the constructs of deviant peer affiliations and social acceptance and rejection were distinguishable as unique but correlated constructs within the PASA. Convergent, discriminant, concurrent, and predictive validity of the PASA was satisfactory, although the acceptance and rejection constructs were highly correlated and showed similar patterns of concurrent validity. Factor invariance was established for mother reports and for father reports. Results suggest that the PASA is a valid and reliable measure of peer affiliation and of social acceptance among peers during the middle school years and provides a comprehensive yet brief assessment of peer affiliations and social acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-612
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research described in this article was funded by grants DA07031 and DA016110 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the first author and T32 MH20012 from the National Institute of Mental Health to the third author.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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