Popularity in high school is achieved by students who conform with the dominant peer culture preferences of their schools and are friends with other students that are perceived as popular. Peer culture preferences such as clothing, slang and musical taste affect high school popularity because friendships are based on similarity. The popular kids accept those who are similar to themselves and shun those who are different.
For high school students whose goal is to become more popular, befriending students who are perceived as popular by their peers is often an effective strategy. The drawback is that in order to be admitted to the popular group, kids often must break off friendships with anyone the popular group does not wish to accept. High school students tend to describe popular kids as stylish dressers who are good-looking, rich and athletic. They also describe popular kids as entertaining. There are popular kids who are pro-social and popular kids who are anti-social. Popular pro-social kids are friendly toward their peers, handle conflict in constructive ways and do well in school. Popular anti-social kids are socially competent but often perform poorly in school, are defiant towards adults and may display aggressive behavior toward their peers.