Changes in Perceived Social Support and Socioemotional Adjustment Across the Elementary to Junior High School Transition
Perceptions of social support from important persons in one's life are related to psychological well-being across the lifespan, say these authors. In this study, they explored changes in and relationships among perceived social support (SS) and socioemotional adjustment (SEA) across the 1-year transition from elementary (Grade 5) to junior high school (Grade 6), using data from two cohorts of students (n=140). Results for boys and girls together revealed declines in perceived total support and teacher support as well as an increase in self-reported school problems. When analyzed separately, girls' perceived total support, close friend support, and school support declined while boy's self-reported school problems increased across the transition. Although social support did not emerge as a mediator or predictor for any of the socioemotional variables studied, results showed that, in general, perceived social support and socioemotional functioning at the end of the last year of elementary school predicted perceived social support and socioemotional functioning at the end of the first year of junior high school. Modified Author Abstract.