Elementary school predictors of adolescent adjustment problems

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Title: Elementary school predictors of adolescent adjustment problems
Author: Reda-Norton, Laurie J
Abstract: Children who have difficulty getting along with their peers experience a wide range of behavioral and emotional problems and are thought to be at risk for future difficulties . However , it is not clear what poor peer acceptance adds to the prediction of negative outcomes that is different from problem behaviors and lack of prosocial skills . The purpose of this investigation was to explore how well elementary school peer nominations of social behavior and peer acceptance could predict adolescent maladjustment . A longitudinal sample of 172 girls and 135 boys was assessed in elementary school and again in junior high school . Multiple aspects of adjustment were obtained from self -report measures , peer ratings , and school records . A different pattern of prediction was observed depending on the outcome adjustment factor under consideration . Early disruptive behavior was uniquely predictive of externalizing problems such as delinquent behavior , offensive interpersonal behavior , hyperactivity and immaturity , and poor academic performance . Early internalizing behaviors were linked to adolescent outcomes such as depression , low self -esteem , loneliness , and social incompetence . In addition , early peer perceptions of being helpful , good looking , and academically competent broadly predicted adjustment in junior high school , with lack of these positive skills predicting unfavorable adjustment . Peer acceptance in elementary school showed a modest relationship to adjustment in junior high school . However , peer acceptance did not play a unique role in determining subsequent adjustment independent of a child's social behavior . Gender differences were evident . Prosocial skills more often contributed unique information in predicting outcomes for boys than for girls . Also , specific risk factors for academic and school adjustment problems were different for boys and girls . These early risk factors are discussed in terms of their unique contributions in forecasting subsequent maladjustment . Methodological issues and possible mediating variables are also discussed . Directions for future research include advancing our understanding of the specific aspects of peer relationships that contribute to later problems , focusing on developmental considerations , and examining the role of protective factors in preventing negative outcomes .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /17563
Date: 1995-05

Citation

Elementary school predictors of adolescent adjustment problems. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /17563 .

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