Children's effortful control and academic achievement: do relational peer victimization and classroom participation operate as mediators?

Research paper by Carlos C Valiente, Jodi J Swanson, Kathryn K Lemery-Chalfant, Rebecca H RH Berger

Indexed on: 12 Aug '14Published on: 12 Aug '14Published in: Journal of School Psychology


Given that early academic achievement is related to numerous developmental outcomes, understanding processes that promote early success in school is important. This study was designed to clarify how students' (N=291; M age in fall of kindergarten=5.66 years, SD=0.39 year) effortful control, relational peer victimization, and classroom participation relate to achievement, as students progress from kindergarten to first grade. Effortful control and achievement were assessed in kindergarten, classroom participation and relational peer victimization were assessed in the fall of first grade, and achievement was reassessed in the spring of first grade. Classroom participation, but not relational peer victimization, mediated relations between effortful control and first grade standardized and teacher-rated achievement, controlling for kindergarten achievement. Findings suggest that aspects of classroom participation, such as the ability to work independently, may be useful targets of intervention for enhancing academic achievement in young children.