Influences of Seating Propinquity in Elementary Classrooms on Changes in Peer Friendships and Antipathies

Open Access
Nora, Diana Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Human Development and Family Studies
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Scott David Gest, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kathryn Bancroft Hynes, Honors Advisor
  • Seating proximity
  • Antipathies
  • Elementary Classrooms
  • Disliking
  • Liking
  • Friendship
  • Victimization
  • Gender Composition
The present study examined the effects of seating propinquity in elementary classrooms on dyads characterized by unidirectional or mutual dislike. Data were analyzed from the Classroom Peer Ecologies Project, a longitudinal study investigating teacher practices, classroom peer ecologies and youth outcomes. Participants were recruited from first, third, and fifth grade classrooms. Student surveys included peer nomination items assessing feelings of liking, disliking, friendship and victimization. Teachers provided data on seating chart arrangements and these data were coded so that all dyads in each classroom were classified as adjacent (sitting next to one another) or nonadjacent. Analyses focused on peer dyads characterized by unidirectional or mutual dislike (N=521). Cross tabulations and chi square analyses were conducted with seating propinquity at wave one as the independent variable and disliking, liking, friendship, and victimization at wave two as the dependent variables. Overall results indicated no statistically significant associations between seating propinquity and any of the dependent variables. Follow-up analyses indicated that for mixed-gender dyads, seating propinquity was associated with a statistically significant increase in liking. No statistically significant effects were observed for boy-boy or girl-girl dyads. The discussion of this study focuses on the implications of the results, the limitations of the study, and future directions in exploring the influence of seating propinquity on antipathy dyads in elementary classrooms.