School Social Climate and Individual Differences in Vulnerability to Psychopathology among Middle School Students

  • Kuperminc G
  • Leadbeater B
  • Blatt S
  • 6

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Abstract

The present study used a person–environment-fit framework to examine the inter- action of psychological vulnerabilities and perceptions of school climate to explain the emergence of behavioral and emotional problems during the middle school years. Cross-sectional and 1-year longitudinal analyses were conducted using data from 230 female and 230 male sixth- and seventh-grade students (50% non-His- panic white, 27% Hispanic, 22% African American, and 3% other) attending a large ethnically and socioeconomically diverse middle school. Positive perceptions of school climate moderated the negative effects of self-criticism on both internaliz- ing and externalizing problems and of a lack of efficacy on internalizing problems. Youth with high levels of self-criticism did not show expected increases in internaliz- ing and externalizing problems when they perceived a positive school climate. Re- sults were consistent with the idea that careful attention needs to be given to the social–emotional environment of middle schools, particularly for young adoles- cents preoccupied with issues of self-definitio

Author-supplied keywords

  • chological vulnerability
  • environments affect young adolescent
  • externalizing problems
  • how do middle school
  • internalizing symptoms
  • opment
  • psy-
  • rapid
  • school climate
  • school typically coincides with
  • social devel-
  • the transition to middle

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Authors

  • Gp Kuperminc

  • Bj Leadbeater

  • Sj Blatt

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