In this study, we used data collected from early adolescents (ages 12 to 14 years) in the San Francisco Bay area of the United States and Amsterdam, The Netherlands to examine two questions concerning their social-emotional and school functioning. First, we compared adolescents' self-reported emotional-behavioral problems, general self-esteem, and their sense that negative moods interfered with their ability to learn in school across the two samples. Consistent with previous research, we found that American youth reported more internalizing and externalizing problems than did their Dutch peers, and said that negative moods interfered more with their ability to learn in school. Second, we examined the relative predictive relations between adolescents’ social-emotional functioning and motivation to learn and their reported investment in or disaffection from school. Both sets of indices predicted investment in both samples, although the pattern of significant relations differed by country. Findings are discussed in relation to a broader model of the social, demographic, and psychological processes that shape patterns of academic investment or disaffection, achievement, and choice during the adolescent years.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology