ERIC Number: EJ1036092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
The Role of Beliefs about the Importance of Social Skills in Elementary Children's Social Behaviors and School Attitudes
Kwon, Kyongboon; Kim, Elizabeth Moorman; Sheridan, Susan M.
Child & Youth Care Forum, v43 n4 p455-467 Aug 2014
Background: Positive attitudes toward school have been suggested as a meaningful indicator of school engagement among elementary children. The current study was guided by a social cognitive developmental perspective which suggests that social cognitions, including beliefs, play an important role in children's adjustment outcomes. Objective: The present study examined the hypothesis that children's beliefs about the importance of social skills contribute to school attitudes through their effect on social behavior (i.e., social skills and aggression). The effect of gender was also examined as related to the mean levels of and associations among study constructs. Methods: Participants were third through fifth-grade students (N = 342) and their teachers (N = 22) from Midwestern rural communities of the United States. Child self-reports, peer nominations, and teacher ratings were gathered. Results: Children's beliefs about the importance of social skills were positively associated with social skills and positive school attitudes and were negatively associated with aggression. Beliefs about the importance of social skills were indirectly related to positive school attitudes via social behaviors (i.e., social skills, aggression). Gender differences were detected in the mean levels of study constructs but not in the associations among them. Conclusions: Findings suggest that children's beliefs about social skills are an important aspect of social cognition that has significant implications for children's social behavior and school adjustment. Specific ways in which the findings can inform educators and parents in supporting the development of children's beliefs about the importance of social skills are discussed.
Descriptors: Beliefs, Student Attitudes, Elementary School Students, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Hypothesis Testing, Attitude Measures, Interpersonal Competence, School Attitudes, Social Behavior, Aggression, Gender Differences, Elementary School Teachers, Rural Areas, Correlation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R324A100115