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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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
Volume57
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Fingerprint

reporter
social process
Students
classroom
Hispanic Americans
Research
interaction
kindergarten
elementary school
low income
promotion
student
school grade
teacher

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

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abstract = "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.",
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