Children's social behaviors as predictors of academic achievement: A longitudinal analysis

Christine Kerres Malecki, Stephen N. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

350 Scopus citations


This study was an investigation of the relationships among a diverse sample of elementary students' social skills, problem behaviors, academic competence, and academic achievement. The primary research question addressed the relationship between social behaviors and academic achievement. All data were collected and examined at two time-points within a school year, which allowed for a replication of the relationships among the variables and an investigation of the predictive relationships over time. The participants in this study were 139 third- and fourth-grade students, and their teachers, from two schools in a large urban community in western Massachusetts. The results of this study indicated that (a) social skills are positively predictive of concurrent levels of academic achievement and (b) problem behaviors are negatively predictive of concurrent academic achievement. Only social skills, however, emerged as a significant predictor of future academic functioning. The linkage between problem behaviors and future academic performance may vary as a function of ethnic or cultural membership status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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