Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of the current study was to pilot test measures of cognitive-linguistic achievement and socioemotional competence to create an all encompassing model of school adjustment in a sample of Head Start children (N = 36). Past research examining school adjustment in low-income children has failed to address all of the components of school adjustment while often employing the same reporter (the teacher) for both predictor and outcome measures. Cognitive-linguistic measures included four subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement and two assessments of phonological awareness (rhyming and alliteration). Emotion regulation measures included teacherreported emotionality and emotion regulation, parent-reported emotionality and emotion regulation, and an assessment of how children spend their time waiting during a delay of gratification task. Social functioning measures included student-teacher relationship quality, teacher-reported social competence and behavior problems, and a sociometric interview that provided information about peer relationships in the classroom. Results revealed significant differences between children who have friendships and are well-liked and those who do not have these positive peer relationships. Teacher-reported emotion regulation predicted the presence of positive peer interactions. In turn, the presence of prosocial peer interactions was highly related to socioemotional outcomes and highly predictive of cognitive indices of school adjustment.


Education | Psychology