Children?s Perceptions About Themselves and Their School Experiences
Summary of Findings
Children?s Perceptions in Third Grade
- On average, children?s scores on the reading,
mathematics, and general school scales were
high, indicating that they were generally interested
in and enjoyed school, and that they
did not perceive their schoolwork to be too
- Girls tended to have greater interest in and
perceived competence in reading than boys.
- On average, children responded positively on
the peer-relationships scale, indicating that
they generally made friends easily and got
along well with their peers.
- Black and Hispanic third-graders responded
more positively overall on the peer-relationships
scale than Asian/Pacific Islander children.
After controlling for the other factors, such as
the child?s sex, number of family risk factors,
kindergarten program type, and school type,
Black third-graders still had higher scores on
the peer-relationships scale than Asian/Pacific
- On average, scores on the two problem behaviors
scales were relatively low, with children
generally indicating that they only occasionally
exhibited externalizing (e.g., fighting and
arguing) or internalizing (e.g., anxiety, sadness,
loneliness) problem behaviors.
- Boys indicated a higher likelihood of exhibiting
externalizing behaviors than girls.
- Black third-graders were generally more likely
to indicate that they exhibited externalizing
and internalizing problem behaviors than children
from other racial/ethnic groups, even after
controlling for other factors.
- As the number of family risk factors increased
for third-graders, they were more likely to indicate
that they exhibited both types of problem
behaviors, even after accounting for other
Children?s Perceptions About School and Their Cognitive Status
- Those scoring in the highest third on the reading
assessment had higher perceived interest
and competency in reading than children scoring
in the lower two-thirds. The same pattern of relationships
between perceptions and achievement
occurred in mathematics.
- The relationship between children?s perceptions
and achievement were subject-specific,
in that there was no substantive relationship
between achievement in one subject area and
perceived interest and competence in a different