Internalizing Behavior Problems and Scholastic Achievement in Children: Cognitive and Behavioral Pathways as Mediators of Outcome

Mark D. Rapport, Colin B. Denney, Kyong Mee Chung, Keli Hustace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Examined a conceptual model in which dual developmental pathways (behavioral and cognitive) are hypothesized to account for the relation among internalizing behavior problems, intelligence, and later scholastic achievement using a cross-sectional sample of 325 children. Classroom behavior and select aspects of cognitive functioning (vigilance, short-term memory) were hypothesized to mediate the relations among internalizing problems, IQ, and long-term scholastic achievement. Hierarchical tests applied to a nested series of models demonstrated that (a) individual differences in measured intelligence among children are associated with variations in classroom performance and cognitive functioning, (b) classroom performance and cognitive functioning make unique contributions to prediction of later achievement over and above the influence of intelligence, (c) anxious/depressive features are correlated but separable constructs, and (d) anxiety/depression and withdrawal contribute to prediction of classroom performance and cognitive functioning over and above the effects of intelligence. Classroom performance and cognitive functioning thus appear to mediate the effects of internalizing behaviors as well as intelligence. Particular attention to the presence and potential impact of social withdrawal on children's functioning, both alone and concomitant with anxiety/depression, appears warranted during the course of clinical evaluations owing to the strong continuity among these variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-551
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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