Longitudinal Associations Linking Elementary and Middle School Contexts with Student Aggression in Early Adolescence

Growing up in poverty increases youth risk for developing aggressive behavior problems which, in turn, are associated with a host of problematic outcomes, including school drop-out, substance use, mental health problems, and delinquency. In part, this may be due to exposure to adverse school contexts that create socialization influences supporting aggression. In the current study, 356 children from low-income families (58% White, 17% Latinx, 25% Black; 54% girls) were followed from preschool through seventh grade. Longitudinal data included measures of the school-level contexts experienced by study participants during their elementary and middle school years, including school levels of poverty (percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch) and academic achievement (percentage of students scoring below the basic proficiency level on state achievement tests). Regression analyses suggested little impact of these school-level contexts on teacher or parent ratings of aggression in fifth grade, controlling for child baseline aggression and demographics. In contrast, school-level contexts had significant effects on child aggression in seventh grade with unique contributions by school-level achievement, controlling for child fifth grade aggression and elementary school contexts along with baseline covariates. These effects were robust across teacher and parent ratings. Findings are discussed in terms of understanding the school-based socialization of aggressive behavior and implications for educational policy and prevention programming.

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Work Title Longitudinal Associations Linking Elementary and Middle School Contexts with Student Aggression in Early Adolescence
Access
Open Access
Creators
  1. Michael Thomas Sanders
  2. Karen Bierman
  3. Brenda S Heinrichs
Keyword
  1. aggression; poverty; academic achievement; school context; longitudinal
License All rights reserved
Work Type Article
Acknowledgments
  1. This project was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant HD046064 and the Institute of Education Sciences grant R305B090007. The views expressed in this article are ours and do not necessarily represent the granting agencies.
Publisher
  1. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Publication Date 2020
DOI doi:10.26207/fsfy-b258
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1007/s10802-020-00697-6
Deposited March 07, 2021 13:18

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Version 1
published

  • Created
  • Updated Acknowledgments Show Changes
    Acknowledgments
    • This project was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant HD046064 and the Institute of Education Sciences grant R305B090007. The views expressed in this article are ours and do not necessarily represent the granting agencies.
  • Added Creator Karen Bierman
  • Added Creator Michael Thomas Sanders
  • Added Creator Brenda S Heinrichs
  • Added School Context and Student Aggression - Final kb.docx
  • Updated License Show Changes
    License
    • https://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
  • Published

Version 2
published

  • Created
  • Updated Creator Michael Thomas Sanders
  • Updated Creator Karen Bierman
  • Published
  • Updated Publisher Identifier (DOI) Show Changes
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    • https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-020-00697-6
    • 10.1007/s10802-020-00697-6