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Trajectories of emotional–behavioral difficulty and academic competence: A 6-year, person-centered, prospective study of affluent suburban adolescents

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Abstract

This longitudinal study of affluent suburban youth ( N = 319) tracked from 6th to 12th grade is parsed into two segments examining prospective associations concerning emotional–behavioral difficulties and academic achievement. In Part 1 of the investigation, markers of emotional–behavioral difficulty were used to cluster participants during 6th grade. Generalized estimating equations were then used to document between-cluster differences in academic competence from 6th to 12th grade. In Part 2 of the study, indicators of academic competence were used to cluster the same students during 6th grade, and generalized estimating equations were used to document between-cluster differences in emotional–behavioral difficulty from 6th to 12th grade. The results from Part 1 indicated that patterns of emotional–behavioral difficulty during 6th grade were concurrently associated with poorer grades and classroom adjustment with some group differences in the rate of change in classroom adjustment over time. In Part 2, patterns of academic competence during 6th grade were concurrently associated with less emotional–behavioral difficulty and some group differences in the rate of change in specific forms of emotional–behavioral difficulty over time. These results suggest that the youth sampled appeared relatively well adjusted and any emotional–behavioral–achievement difficulty that was evident at the start of middle school was sustained through the end of high school.

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... Los resultados de las investigaciones muestran que las chicas tienden a presentar más síntomas internalizantes (Nivard et al., 2017). Además, los adolescentes de más de 15 años muestran una menor adaptación que los adolescentes más jóvenes (Ansary et al., 2017;Fonseca-Pedrero et al., 2011). ...
... En contraste con la hipótesis I, no se han observado diferencias de edad en todas las variables estudiadas. Esto contrasta con investigaciones anteriores que indican que las competencias emocionales y la autoestima aumentan en la adolescencia tardía, mientras que el ajuste social y emocional disminuye (Ansary et al., 2017;Bleidorn et al., 2016;Orth et al., 2018). Estos resultados inesperados se pueden explicar, en parte, por el hecho de que los cambios en las capacidades emocionales, la autoestima y el ajuste psicológico durante la adolescencia podrían no ser detectados debido a las manifestaciones específicas de estos factores que son más importantes según la edad. ...
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... The trend of research findings shows that girls tend to present more internalizing symptoms than boys (Nivard et al., 2017). Moreover, adolescents of over 15 show poorer adjustment than younger adolescents (Ansary et al., 2017;Fonseca-Pedrero et al., 2011). ...
... In contrast to hypothesis I, no age differences in all studied variables have been found. This disproves previous findings that emotional competence and self-esteem increase in later adolescence, while social and emotional adjustment decreases (Ansary et al., 2017;Bleidorn et al., 2016;Orth et al., 2018). We explain our unanticipated results, in part, by the fact that the fluctuation of emotional abilities, self-esteem and psychological adjustment during adolescence might be undetected due to agespecific domains of these factors. ...
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... Se ha señalado que los varones presentan más problemas de conducta que las mujeres (Carlo et al., 2014), y ellas tienden a mostrar más síntomas emocionales (Kökönyei et al., 2015). Así, los jóvenes antes de entrar en la pubertad (preadolescentes) presentan mejor ajuste que los adolescentes (Ansary, McMahon, & Luthar, 2017;Ortuño-Sierra, Fonseca-Pedrero, Paíno, & Aritio-Solana, 2014). ...
... Respecto a la edad, no se observaron diferencias entre los preadolescentes de 12-13 años y los adolescentes de 14-15 años, por lo que no se confirma la segunda hipótesis. Esta discrepancia con estudios previos (Ansary et al., 2017;Bleidorn et al., 2016;Esnaola et al., 2017;Ortuño-Sierra et al., 2014) podría deberse al pequeño rango de edad, por lo que se aconseja incluir en futuras investigaciones adolescentes de más edad, por ejemplo, de 16 y 17 años (von Soest et al., 2016). ...
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... Se ha señalado que los varones presentan más problemas de conducta que las mujeres (Carlo et al., 2014), y ellas tienden a mostrar más síntomas emocionales (Kökönyei et al., 2015). Así, los jóvenes antes de entrar en la pubertad (preadolescentes) presentan mejor ajuste que los adolescentes (Ansary, McMahon, & Luthar, 2017;Ortuño-Sierra, Fonseca-Pedrero, Paíno, & Aritio-Solana, 2014). ...
... Respecto a la edad, no se observaron diferencias entre los preadolescentes de 12-13 años y los adolescentes de 14-15 años, por lo que no se confirma la segunda hipótesis. Esta discrepancia con estudios previos (Ansary et al., 2017;Bleidorn et al., 2016;Esnaola et al., 2017;Ortuño-Sierra et al., 2014) podría deberse al pequeño rango de edad, por lo que se aconseja incluir en futuras investigaciones adolescentes de más edad, por ejemplo, de 16 y 17 años (von Soest et al., 2016). ...
... In general terms, adolescents are well adapted, although when they present difficulties, these are relatively stable and can sometimes be detected from the beginning of their schooling [6]. Two conclusions can be drawn from this: adolescents are a well-functioning group in general, but this does not imply that there are not problems. ...
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... As regards psychological adjustment, boys present more behavioural problems [44]; whereas girls tend to experience more emotional symptoms [45]. In terms of age, young people before puberty (pre-adolescents) adjust more easily to internal and external changes than adolescents [46,47]. Subjective well-being also appears to be influenced by sex and age, with girls scoring higher than boys for self-reported life-satisfaction, and scores for both tending to decline with age [48]. ...
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... Some of the previous studies in the related literature treated academic competence as academic achievement (e.g., Ansary et al. 2017;Brigman et al. 2007;Webb et al. 2005;Welsh et al. 2001). However, academic competence involves not only academic achievement but also students' own beliefs to succeed in academic terms, as well as their relevant behaviors (Özer et al. 2016). ...
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A modified multitrait multimethod validation matrix was generated to evaluate the construct validity of the newly revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS). For both males (N = 49) and females (N = 37) a pattern of results occurred that was generally consistent with the use of the RCMAS as a measure of chronic, manifest anxiety levels in children. Large correlations occurred with other trait measures of anxiety but not with state anxiety measures or IQ. Smaller but consistently positive correlations occurred between children's ratings of their anxiety and teacher observations of behavior problems.
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Each year since 1975, about 17,000 seniors have participated in a national survey conducted in some 130 high schools to assess students' changing lifestyles, values, and preferences. This publication is one in a series of annual monographs to disseminate many of the epidemiological findings from the study. It reports the results of the national survey of drug use and related attitudes and beliefs among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Distinctions are made among important demographic subgroups in these populations based on gender, college plans, region of the country, population density, parents' education, and race and ethnicity. Following the introductory chapter, chapter 2 presents key findings. Study design is reviewed in chapter 3. Chapters 4 and 5 explain the prevalence and trends in drug use. Chapter 6 discusses the initiation rates by grade level. Chapter 7 explains the degree and duration of drug highs. Chapter 8 discusses attitudes about drug use, and chapter 9 reviews the social milieu. Chapter 10 sums up other findings from the study. Volume 1 was preceded by an advance summary publication of its key findings. (Contains 5 appendixes, 146 tables and 103 figures.) (JDM)
Article
Presents a revised version of the class play (RCP) method of peer assessment for children, which was designed to improve the assessment of social competence as well as the psychometric properties of the class play method. The RCP consists of 30 roles, 15 positive and 15 negative, that 612 3rd–6th graders were told to assign to their classmates according to which classmate would play the role best. Ss were also rated by their teachers on the Devereux Elementary School Behavior Rating Scale and were administered the Peabody Individual Achievement Test, the Vocabulary and Block Design subtests of the WISC—R, and the Duncan Socioeconomic Index. Three RCP scores were derived based on factor analysis that revealed 3 dimensions: Sociability-Leadership, Aggressive-Disruptive, and Sensitive-Isolated. Data are presented relating the 3 scores, which proved to be reliable and stable at intervals of 6 and 17 mo, to SES, IQ, achievement, and teacher ratings. Positive reputation was associated with other aspects of social and intellectual competence, whereas isolated reputation was linked to difficulties at school. Multiple regression analyses suggested that a pattern of low-positive, high aggressive-disruptive, and high-isolated peer reputation is the least competent. The advantages of multidimensional scoring and analysis of peer reputation are demonstrated by the results. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Notes that research on adolescence has to face a number of methodological challenges, which tend to be particularly relevant for studies concerning this period of life. Some of these issues are addressed in this article. First, a metatheoretical perspective is introduced in the form of the person approach, which is based on the holistic-interactionistic research paradigm. The author maintains that in a person approach the individual as a "functioning whole" is central and not the variable, as is the usual case. It is suggested that this perspective has consequences both for the theoretical thinking and for the methodological approach. A short overview is given of major types of pattern-based methods often used for carrying out a person approach. Against this background, some methodological challenges for research on adolescence are discussed: Studying growth in patterns or configurations, interindividual differences in maturational tempo, a dynamic vs a static perspective, and prediction and explanation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the impact of early adolescent drug use on subsequent dropping out of high school in a sample of 4,390 adolescents from California and Oregon. Participants were initially surveyed in 7th grade in 1985 and again in 1990 when they should have completed 12th grade. Logistic regression analyses showed that frequency of cigarette use during 7th grade predicted dropping out of high school, controlling for demographics, family structure, academic orientation, early deviance, and school environment. Separate analyses by race/ethnicity replicated this finding for Asians, Blacks, and Whites, but not for Latinos. For Latinos, early marijuana use predicted dropping out. Results suggest that preventing or reducing the incidence of early smoking and marijuana use may help reduce the probability of dropping out of high school. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Understanding and preventing high school failure is a national priority. Structural strain and general deviance theories attempt to explain late high school failure. The authors tested the hypotheses that general (vs. specific) deviance and academic competence mediate the relationships between structural strain factors (gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status [SES]) and 12th-grade high school failure. Independent variables of structural strain and mediational variables of drug use, sexual involvement, school trouble, delinquency, and academic performance were assessed in a sample of 754 8th graders and used to predict 12th-grade high school dropout and number of missed months of school (reflecting a latent construct of High School Failure) in the 12th grade. High school failure was directly predicted by earlier General Deviance, poor Academic Competence, low Family SES, and tobacco use. All ethnic and gender differences in high school failure were mediated by deviance and academic ability or accounted for by Family SES discrepancies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study examines substance use between 10th and l2th grades in a predominantly African American sample of 785 adolescents from an urban environment. Psychological distress, academic factors, and perceptions of parents and peers are used to explain l0th-grade substance use and changes in use using hierarchical linear modeling. Results indicate that low achievement and motivation, high truancy, and perceptions of peer substance use are associated with higher 10th-grade substance use. Growth curve analyses reveal that adolescents who perceive negative school attitudes among peers are more likely to increase their cigarette and marijuana use. Among high-achieving students, low motivation is a risk factor for increased cigarette use. Implications focused on enhancing motivation, reducing truancy, and understanding adolescents' perceptions of their peers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
the measure of delinquent behavior / identifying career offenders / validating career offender types / comparing official and self-reported classifications (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study examined the relationship between the Children"s Depression Inventory (CDI) scores and major depression, conduct disorder, and anxiety disorder diagnoses. Participants were 107 (58 male, 49 female) psychiatric inpatients, aged 12–18 years ( M = 15.4, SD = 1.5). Definite major depression participants ( n = 26) reported higher scores than nondepressed participants (absence of any depression diagnosis, n = 81) on all 5 CDI factor scores and the total CDI score. Conduct disorder participants scored higher on the externalizing factor; no other significant main or interaction effects were obtained for conduct disorder or anxiety. A discriminant function model using the 5 CDI factor scores classified participants as depressed versus nondepressed with a high degree of accuracy; a model using only the CDI total score yielded comparable discriminatory accuracy. The CDI total score was recommended as the most practical measure for classifying participants as depressed or not depressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This research examined patterns of substance use and academic factors among a sample of 733 African-American and European-American adolescents from a metropolitan area. First, youth were classified into 11th grade high, moderate, or no substance use groups and classified as users, initiators, desistors, and nonusers based on eighth and 11th grade use. Nonusers did not differ in eighth grade from 11th grade moderate users and initiators over time. Eighth graders who reported misbehavior and having low-achieving friends were more likely to be high 11th grade users and users at both grades. Direct achievement effects were not found; however, interactions indicated achievement was protective when paired with having fun at school, high task value, and low levels of socioeconomic status (SES); and was a risk factor when paired with positive self regard, low fun at school and high SES. Cluster analyses indicated the most prevalent group of substance users reported high grades, social reasons for going to school, and having friends who do well in school.
Article
Self-report data regarding alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use were collected biennially from ages 14 to 20 in a nationally representative panel sample of adolescents (N=1,897) from the Monitoring the Future study. Growth curve analyses were performed using hierarchical linear modeling to consider psychosocial background, motivation and school attitudes, and parental and peer influences at age 14 as predictors of concurrent substance use and change in substance use. Results indicated that school misbehavior and peer encouragement of misbehavior were positively associated with substance use at age 14 and with increased use over time; school bonding, school interest, school effort, academic achievement, and parental help with school were negatively associated. The protective effects of positive school attitudes and perceptions of high status connected to academics were stronger for low-achieving compared with high-achieving youth. Implications for a developmental perspective on substance use etiology and prevention are discussed.
Article
Cross-sectional research has shown a link between adolescent substance use and educational motivation. The purpose of the current study was to examine this link in a longitudinal sample of African American youth. The study examined the interrelationships between alcohol and both marijuana use and school motivation over the high school years and their effect on graduation in 681 African American adolescents (50.8% female). School motivation was shown to relate to subsequent alcohol use throughout high school and marijuana use early in high school. School motivation did not affect graduation status, but alcohol and marijuana use were related to a lower likelihood of graduating from high school. Some gender differences and differences among those who had tried alcohol or marijuana at the first wave as opposed to those who had not tried each substance were found. The findings support a systems model where school experiences can affect substance use, which, in turn, can affect the completion of high school.
Article
Several issues related to the reliability and validity of self-report delinquency measures are raised and discussed. These include problems associated with the use of internal consistency as the measure of reliability, the level of reliability or precision required for different types of analyses, problems with the content validity of self-report measures, problems of overreporting and underreporting, problems with the use of official records as a validity check on self-reports, and the lack of any good criterion as a major obstacle in assessing the empirical validity of self-report measures. In the light of these problems, some cautions about the use of self-report measures are made.
Article
This article presents further evidence for the psychometric qualities of the Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC), a widely used questionnaire for assessing self-esteem in youths. The SPPC was administered to a large sample of Dutch school children (N=1143) in order to study its factor structure, reliability (internal consistency and test–retest stability), and validity. Results showed that the hypothesized factor structure of the SPPC representing five specific domains of self-esteem (i.e. scholastic competence, social acceptance, athletic competence, physical appearance, and behavioral conduct) provided a reasonable fit for the data. Furthermore, the reliability of the scale appeared to be satisfactory with good internal consistency and test–retest stability. Finally, evidence was also obtained for the validity of the SPPC. More specifically, the scale correlated in a theoretically meaningful way with child-, parent-, and teacher-reports of psychopathology and personality. Altogether, the current findings confirm the notion that the SPPC is a reliable and valid self-report measure for assessing children's self-esteem.
Book
Correlated datasets develop when multiple observations are collected from a sampling unit (e.g., repeated measures of a bank over time, or hormone levels in a breast cancer patient over time), or from clustered data where observations are grouped based on a shared characteristic (e.g., observations on different banks grouped by zip code, or on cancer patients from a specific clinic). The generalized linear model framework for independent data is extended to model correlated data via the introduction of second-order variance components directly into the independent data model's estimating equation. This generalization of the estimating equation from the independence model is thus referred to as a Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE). This article discusses the foundation of GEEs as well as how user-specified correlation structures are accommodated in the model-building process. This article also discusses the relationship and similarity to the underlying generalized linear model framework and we point out alternative approaches to GEEs for modeling correlated data such as fixed-effects models and random-effects models.
Article
Using longitudinal data from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, the authors assessed 1,977 adolescents across Grades 5 to 8 to determine if there were distinctive developmental paths for behavioral and emotional school engagement; if these paths varied in relation to sex, race/ethnicity, and family socioeconomic status (SES); and whether links existed between trajectories of school engagement and grades, depression, substance use, and delinquency. Four trajectories for behavioral school engagement and four trajectories of emotional engagement were identified using a semiparametric mixture model. These trajectories were distinct with regard to initial levels of and changes in engagement, as well as to their shapes. Trajectories varied in regard to sex, SES, and race/ethnicity. Different trajectories of behavioral and emotional engagement were linked to grades, depression, delinquency, and substance use. Directions for future research and application are discussed.
Article
The p-median clustering model represents a combinatorial approach to partition data sets into disjoint, nonhierarchical groups. Object classes are constructed around exemplars, that is, manifest objects in the data set, with the remaining instances assigned to their closest cluster centers. Effective, state-of-the-art implementations of p-median clustering are virtually unavailable in the popular social and behavioral science statistical software packages. We present p-median clustering, including a detailed description of its mechanics and a discussion of available software programs and their capabilities. Application to a complex structured data set on the perception of food items illustrates p-median clustering.
Article
Although the K-means algorithm for minimizing the within-cluster sums of squared deviations from cluster centroids is perhaps the most common method for applied cluster analyses, a variety of other criteria are available. The p-median model is an especially well-studied clustering problem that requires the selection of p objects to serve as cluster centers. The objective is to choose the cluster centers such that the sum of the Euclidean distances (or some other dissimilarity measure) of objects assigned to each center is minimized. Using 12 data sets from the literature, we demonstrate that a three-stage procedure consisting of a greedy heuristic, Lagrangian relaxation, and a branch-and-bound algorithm can produce globally optimal solutions for p-median problems of nontrivial size (several hundred objects, five or more variables, and up to 10 clusters). We also report the results of an application of the p-median model to an empirical data set from the telecommunications industry.