Congratulations to Yaoran Li for her Publication in the Journal of Adolescence

Relating psychological and social factors to academic performance: A longitudinal investigation of high-poverty middle school students

Authors: Yaoran Li, Jeff Allen, Alex Casillas


We investigated the relations between middle school students' psychological factors (academic commitment and emotional control), social perceptions (family involvement and school climate), and academic performance over time. Gender differences in these relations were also examined. Based on a two-year longitudinal data set of 942 middle-school students from a high-poverty district in the United States, we found that all four factors measured in sixth grade were predictive of GPA at the end of the seventh grade above and beyond gender, race, and home intellectual materials. Among these factors, emotional control had the strongest relation with GPA, and the importance of family involvement increased over time, especially for female students. The results also revealed the indirect effects of the social factors on GPA through the psychological factors, and mostly through emotional control. These findings highlight the complex relation between the social-emotional factors and academic outcomes in early adolescence.


Psychological factors;

Social factors;

Academic performance;



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