An Investigation of Classroom Situational Dimensions of Emotional and Behavioral Adjustment and Cognitive and Social Outcomes for Head Start Children

Rebecca Shearer, John W. Fantuzzo, Paul A. McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations


This study used a developmental-ecological approach to investigate the relationship across the school year between early problems in preschool classroom situations and a comprehensive set of readiness competencies for urban low-income children. Study 1 identified 3 reliable and unique underlying classroom situational dimensions where behavior problems occurred: structured learning, peer interaction, and teacher interaction situations. Boys and younger children evidenced more problematic behavior across all situations. Study 2 investigated the relationship between early problems in the situations and readiness outcomes. Early situational difficulties uniquely and differentially predicted lower peer social and classroom learning outcomes. In combination, both the type of behavior problem (what) and the situational problem (where) explained greater variance in the prediction of readiness outcomes, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of developmental trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • classroom context
  • cognitive and social outcomes
  • developmental-ecological model
  • Head Start
  • preschool emotional and behavioral adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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