The impact of peer relations on academic progress in junior high

TitleThe impact of peer relations on academic progress in junior high
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsLubbers, MJ
Secondary AuthorsVan Der Werf, MPC
Tertiary AuthorsKuyper, H
Subsidiary AuthorsOffringa, GJ
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Pagination4- 35
KeywordsPeer relations; Peer acceptance; Secondary school; Classroom; Academic progress

The purpose of this study is to examine whether peer relations within classrooms were related to students' academic progress, and if so, whether this can be explained by students' relatedness and engagement, in line with Connell and Wellborn's self-system model. We analyzed data of 18,735 students in 796 school classes in Dutch junior high schools, using multilevel analysis. Academic progress, conceptualized as regular promotion to the next year versus grade retention, moving upward, and moving downward in the track system, was measured at the time of transition between Grades 1 and 2 (equivalent to US Grades 7 and 8). The results indicated that students who were accepted by their peers had lower probabilities to retain a grade or to move downward in the track system. Although peer acceptance was associated with relatedness and engagement, these variables did not explain why peer acceptance was associated to academic progress. Furthermore, peer acceptance and relatedness were more strongly related in classes with more negative class climates.
© 2006 Society for the Study of School Psychology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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