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Social Context of School Success for Latino Middle School Students: Direct and Indirect Influences of Teachers, Family, and Friends

NCJ Number
Journal of Early Adolescence Volume: 29 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2009 Pages: 43-70
Michael E. Woolley; Kelli L. Kol; Gary L. Bowen
Date Published
February 2009
28 pages
This study examined direct and mediated relationships between key parent and friend social environment factors, teacher support, and outcomes.
Findings show that friend, parent, and teacher relationships have significant connections to a range of school outcomes for Latino middle school students. All key social variables included in the model, parental support and parental education monitoring, friend support and friends’ school behavior, and most proximally teacher support, were directly or indirectly linked to the four school outcomes including school behavior, school satisfaction, time spent on homework, and grades. Findings highlight the pivotal role that the teacher/student relationship plays for Latino middle school students. Middle school is a developmental period when early adolescents experience increased demands at school, decreased social support from adults in their lives, and an increasingly important peer culture that can be a source of stress. Also suggested is the importance of the connections between support from teachers and support from family and friends. Data were collected from 848 Latino students in middle school (sixth to eighth grades). Tables, figures, and references