Behavior Problems and School Engagement: Social Problems as a Mediator

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 6
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Session 2: Promoting Social and Emotional Development

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. be able to discuss how interpersonal functioning mediates the pathway through which internalizing, externalizing, and attention problems may lead to a reduction in school involvement.
  2. quantifiably describe the significant impact interpersonal functioning can have on the classroom environment.
  3. will be able to describe how these relationships are important during the transition from elementary to middle school.


We looked at the impact of interpersonal functioning on the predictive relationship between school problem behaviors and school involvement using a nationally representative dataset of 10 and 11-year-old students. We found that deficits in interpersonal functioning significantly mediated this relationship. Supporting positive social functioning may help ameliorate the inverse relationship between difficult behaviors and school engagement.



Eliana Rosenthal, Lehigh University
Amanda K. Nelson, Lehigh University
George J. DuPaul, Lehigh University
Sara R. Franklin-Gillette, Lehigh University


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