This proposal examines the impact of school grade retention on majority and minority children using a contextual-developmental approach. An interlocking, multi-method program of research will examine the origins and maintenance of problems associated with school grade retention with special attention to two minorities (Mexican American & African American) and majority children and adolescents, and links to adjustment. A bilingual, prospective longitudinal methodology is used to identify factors associated with grade retention and subsequent school adjustment, defined in terms of both academic achievement and individual behavioral adjustment. The first phase of the research (Module 1) focuses on descriptive associations between demographic variables and grade retention. Module 2 uses information from Module 1 to examine cross-sectional moderating processes, and explore how child, peer, family and school variables influence the relation between retention and adjustment. Sex and minority status will receive special attention as potential moderators of all processes. Retention may influence child adjustment through individual self-system processes (e.g., self-esteem, personality differences), but child, family, and school variables may moderate further the process. Control beliefs, engagement in school activities, feelings of school relatedness, and family support may buffer children from adverse effects of grade retention Module 3 uses information from Modules 1 & 2 to track processes longitudinally, from first grade through fifth grade. Longitudinal information will allow examination of processes associated with stability and predictive validity during periods of life transition It is possible that the effects of grade retention can be partitioned into temporary, situational effects due to changes in classroom cohorts, longer term effects due to self-system accommodations, and still Longer term developmental effects due to peer relations complications associated with emerging puberty. Longitudinal analysis will also allow for prospective comparisons L with appropriate age, sex, minority /majority and ability controls. Module 4 uses child, family, and school information from the three previous modules to construct and test structural models that examine possible pathways between grade retention in first grade and adjustment and achievement five years later. The four modules build basic empirical bridges between school policy for grade retention and an understanding of individual, developmental, and school processes that moderate the success of the school policy. It should be possible to identify (a) children for whom grade retention is especially disruptive; and (b) process that buffer or aggravate such disruption.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SNEM-1 (01))
Program Officer
Snow, Kyle
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Texas A&M University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
College Station
United States
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Hughes, Jan N; Cao, Qian (2018) Trajectories of teacher-student warmth and conflict at the transition to middle school: Effects on academic engagement and achievement. J Sch Psychol 67:148-162
Deutz, Marike H F; Shi, Qinxin; Vossen, Helen G M et al. (2018) Evaluation of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-Dysregulation Profile (SDQ-DP). Psychol Assess 30:1174-1185
Allee-Smith, Paula J; Im, Myung Hee; Hughes, Jan N et al. (2018) Mentor Support Provisions Scale: Measure dimensionality, measurement invariance, and associations with adolescent school functioning. J Sch Psychol 67:69-87
Liew, Jeffrey; Cao, Qian; Hughes, Jan N et al. (2018) Academic Resilience Despite Early Academic Adversity: A Three-Wave Longitudinal Study on Regulation-Related Resiliency, Interpersonal Relationships, and Achievement in First to Third Grade. Early Educ Dev 29:762-779
Hughes, Jan N; Cao, Qian; West, Stephen G et al. (2017) Effect of retention in elementary grades on dropping out of school early. J Sch Psychol 65:11-27
Im, Myung Hee; Hughes, Jan N; West, Stephen G (2016) Effect of Trajectories of Friends' and Parents' School Involvement on Adolescents' Engagement and Achievement. J Res Adolesc 26:963-978
Hughes, Jan N; Cao, Qian; Kwok, Oi-Man (2016) Indirect Effects of Extracurricular Participation on Academic Adjustment Via Perceived Friends' Prosocial Norms. J Youth Adolesc 45:2260-2277
Im, Myung Hee; Hughes, Jan N; Cao, Qian et al. (2016) Effects of Extracurricular Participation During Middle School on Academic Motivation and Achievement at Grade 9. Am Educ Res J 53:1343-1375
Hughes, Jan N; Im, Myung H (2016) Teacher-Student Relationship and Peer Disliking and Liking Across Grades 1-4. Child Dev 87:593-611
Spilt, Jantine; Hughes, Jan N (2015) African American Children At-Risk of Increasingly Conflicted Teacher-Student Relationships in Elementary School. School Psych Rev 44:246-261

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