A process for producing an acid-modified polyphenylene ether comprising conducting modification reaction substantially in the absence of solvents at 300 to 350.degree. C. by using (a) 100 parts by weight of a polyphenylene ether, (b) 0.1 to 5.0 parts by weight of fumaric acid or a derivative of fumaric acid, and optionally (c) 0.1 to 5.0 parts by weight of a radical generating agent having a half-life of 1 minute at a temperature of 300.degree. C. or higher; and a polystyrenic resin composition comprising (d) 100 parts by weight of a styrenic polymer having the syndiotactic configuration or 100 parts by weight of a component composed of a styrenic polymer having the syndiotactic configuration and a rubbery elastomer and/or a polyamide, (e) 0.5 to 5.0 parts by weight of an acid-modified polyphenylene ether obtained by the above process, and optionally (f) 1 to 350 parts by weight of inorganic filler. A convenient process for producing an acid-modified polyphenylene ether which does not cause deterioration of the working environment, enables stable production, and suppresses decrease in the molecular weight has been developed. A polystyrenic resin composition which can exhibit high toughness is provided by using the obtained acid-modified polyphenylene ether.
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