Title page for ETD etd-07142005-163536

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Zitzmann, Natalie Ann
Author's Email Address nzitzm1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07142005-163536
Title Peer Relations and Academic Achievement in Early Elementary School
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert Laird Committee Chair
Betsy Garrison Committee Member
Cynthia DiCarlo Committee Member
  • early childhood education
  • elementary school
  • academic performance
  • academic achievement
  • peer relationships
  • peer relations
Date of Defense 2005-07-08
Availability unrestricted
The primary focus of the current study was to examine the relations between children’s peer relationships and academic performance. This study involved a secondary analysis of data provided by children, parents, and teachers. In all, 585 families participated in the study. The sample is predominately middle class, generally representative of the geographical regions, and demographically diverse; 52% of the children were male, 19% were of a minority or ethnic background, and 26% lived with single parents. The current study analyzed data collected over a four year period beginning when the children were enrolled in kindergarten. Data were obtained using classroom-based sociometric interviews and teacher questionnaires. Three hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis stated that there are concurrent associations between peer relationship experiences and academic performance. The second hypothesis stated that associations between peer relationships and academic performance also will be found when averaging across kindergarten through third grade. Analyses computed in this study indicate that better academic performance was associated with greater peer acceptance, more friends, and less rejection by peers in each grade and when averaging over the four-year period. The third hypothesis stated that there are positive associations between yearly changes in peer relationships and academic performance and a research question asked if the associations described in the hypotheses generalized to boys and girls.
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