Author: Wentzel, Kathryn R.
Full Citation: Wentzel, K. R. (1991). Relations between social competence and academic achievement in early adolescence. Child Development, 62(5), 1066-1078. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1991.tb01589.x
Overview: Relations between academic performance and 3 aspects of social competence - socially responsible behavior, sociometric status, and self-regulatory processes (goal setting, interpersonal trust, and problem-solving styles) - were studied.
Findings: Based on a sample of 423 12- and 13-year-old students, correlational findings indicate that each aspect of social competence is related significantly to students' grades.
- Results from multiple regression analyses suggest that when accounting for students' IQ, sex, ethnicity, school absence, and family structure, socially responsible behavior mediates almost entirely the relations between students' grades and the other 2 aspects of social competence.
- Socially responsible behavior and peer status appear to be related by way of their joint association with goals to be socially responsible, interpersonal trust, and problem-solving styles.
- Similarly, relations between socially responsible behavior and the background variables are explained by joint relations with the self-regulatory processes.
- The social nature of learning and the role of self-regulation in both interpersonal and behavioral aspects of social competence are discussed.