Alternative Title

Social cliques


Shalen Bishop


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which, if at all, students' perceptions of their teachers' care of specific types of cliques was related to those students' high school lived experience for the following four main cliques: popularity, Goths, loners, and others. The goal of this study was to shed light on the history of the preceding variables and the current research related to cliques. Furthermore, it was intended to help guide the researcher in illuminating what has been studied previously regarding social cliques, factors within them, and their effects on student social and academic achievement. The literature review included elements from theoretical, historical, empirical, and popular literature. The literature researched shows that social hierarchies exist among cliques (Adler & Adler, 1995; Cohen, 1999; Giannetti & Sagarese, 2001; Mellor & Mellor, 2009; Thornburgh, 2006; Wiseman, 2002). Furthermore, several sources in the literature have observed that bullying plays an intricate role within and among cliques (Adler & Adler, 1995; Cohen, 1999; DeVoe & Bauer, 2010; Giannetti & Sagarese; Willard, 2007; Wiseman, 2002). This quantitative research was conducted using a survey that was designed to address the research questions. The survey was given to over 300 participants with 144 returned responses. Participants consisted of individuals over the age of 18 from the researcher's Facebook contacts and currently enrolled students at Pepperdine University. When examining the research questions, findings showed a statistically significant relationship between the high school lived experience and clique association (Research Question 1). Furthermore, the research conducted identified a possible correlation between clique association and teachers' care (Research Question 2). However, there was no significant relationship between gender, clique association, and the high school lived experience (Research Question 3). After analyzing the results, the researcher recommends that further research be conducted on a greater variety of cliques to identify if individuals' high school lived experience impacts their adult lived experience. It is recommended that bullying and clique issues should continue to be addressed within schools. Lastly, graduate schools should offer additional education within educational training programs that enhances awareness of social identity, identifying cliques and providing support for members of various cliques such as Goths and loners.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Cliques (Sociology); High school students

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Barner, Robert R.;