Mapping the Social World of Classrooms: A Multi-Level, Multi-Reporter Approach to Social Processes and Behavioral Engagement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Understanding the social context of classrooms has been a central goal of research focused on the promotion of academic development. Building on the current literature on classroom social settings and guided by a risk and protection framework, this study examines the unique and combined contribution of individual relationships and quality of classroom interactions on behavioral engagement among low-income Latino students in kindergarten to fifth grade (N = 111). Findings indicate that individual relationships with teachers and peers and classroom quality, each independently predicted behavioral engagement. Moreover, high-quality classrooms buffered the negative influence of students' difficulties in individual relationships on behavioral engagement. Findings illuminate the need to consider multiple layers of social classroom relationships and interactions and suggest the potential benefit of targeting classroom quality as a mechanism for improving behavioral engagement in urban elementary schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Academic engagement
  • Classroom quality
  • Peer relationship
  • Social network
  • Teacher-student relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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