Learning behavior and intelligence as explanations for children's scholastic achievement

Barbara A. Schaefer, Paul A. McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


This study assesses the unique and complementary ability of childhood intelligence and learning-related behavior to explain variation in achievement outcomes. Teacher-observed classroom learning behaviors and individually administered intelligence and achievement test performances were collected for a representative national sample (N = 1,100) of students ages 6-17 years. The sample was blocked for age, grade level, and gender, and stratified according to the U.S. Census by race/ethnicity, parent education level, national region, community size, family structure, and educational placement. Teacher-assigned grades were collected for a secondary national sample (N = 420). Hierarchical regression models revealed substantial proportions of assigned grade variance explained primarily by learning behavior and achievement test score variance explained by intelligence. Explanatory patterns remained consistent after control for demographics and alternative intellectual or behavioral variation, and the variance explained jointly by learning behavior, intelligence, and their interactions exceeded appreciably the contributions of any one source. Implications are discussed for educational assessment and intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-313
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning behavior and intelligence as explanations for children's scholastic achievement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this