Behavioral predictors of changes in social relatedness and liking school in elementary school

Scott D. Gest, Janet A. Welsh, Celene E. Domitrovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Normative trends and behavioral predictors for three dimensions of social relatedness were examined in a 6-month longitudinal study of 383 students in Grades 3, 4 and 5. Student reports of social relatedness (teacher supportiveness, school supportiveness, loneliness) and liking school indicated that students in each of the grades felt less positive about the school environment and liked school less in the Spring compared to the Fall. Girls reported higher levels of teacher supportiveness and school supportiveness. Reports of school supportiveness were lower among students at higher grade levels. Teacher-rated aggression predicted declines in students' perceptions of teacher supportiveness, increases in their sense of loneliness, and decreases in reports of liking school across the school year. Teacher-rated closeness predicted the maintenance of student perceptions of high levels of relatedness. Peer social preference predicted increases in loneliness. A path model indicated that the association between aggressive behavior and liking school was mediated by the association between aggressive behavior and perceptions of teacher supportiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-301
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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