The Relationship Between School Discipline and Student Self-control

A recent meta-analysis by Li and colleagues analyzed results from 68 studies to explore the relationship between school discipline and self-control in students ranging in age from preschool through high school. The researchers broke the topic of school discipline into three subcategories to better understand the association of each aspect with student self-control.  The first of these components was structure, which emphasizes the clear and fair enforcement of school rules to manage student behavior. The second component was support, which emphasizes the creation of a nurturing environment that is responsive to student needs and is designed to help students develop good behavior. The third component was the teacher-student relationship, which emphasizes quality interactions between students and staff as a means of managing student behavior. The meta-analysis found that:

There is evidence of a significant, positive association between school discipline and student self-control (r = 0.190, p < 0.001).

When comparing the different components of school discipline, both support (ES = +0.02) and teacher-student relationship (ES = + 0.08) had positive effect sizes when compared with structure, but neither of the effect sizes was statistically significant.

Despite having the strongest association with self-control, teacher-student relationships also demonstrated the highest variability of any of the predictors (SE = 0.054).

In addition to the analysis of these three components, student age demonstrated evidence of being a significant moderating variable (ES = +0.01, p = 0.002), indicating the association between school discipline and student self-control is stronger for older students.

The researchers concluded their article with a discussion of the implications of these findings.  Despite some caveats in the analysis, such as the inability to control for family socioeconomic status, this study demonstrated a positive association between school discipline and student self-control, which may help to inform to future school policy and practice.

Source:Li, J. B., Bi, S. S., Willems, Y. E., & Finkenauer, C. (2020). The association between school discipline and self-control from preschoolers to high school students: A three-level meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 0034654320979160.
How did Different Types of Anxiety Affect Psychological Well-being and Academic Outcomes?

An article recently published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence investigated how different types of anxiety symptoms influence students’ psychological well-being and academic achievement. 715 third or fourth graders in China were recruited for the study. They completed measures of anxiety every six months in three years. The measure covered five dimensions of anxiety, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, and school anxiety. Students’ psychological well-being and academic achievement were assessed in the third year of the study.

The findings showed that:

Students in the moderately high with predominant generalized and social anxiety group reported the lowest level of psychological well-being as the congruent-high group did. Their life satisfaction and self-esteem levels were the lowest, while they displayed the highest levels of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation.

Students in the group of congruent-low anxiety and moderately low with predominant social anxiety showed the highest academic achievement.

The group of moderately low with predominant school anxiety and congruent-high anxiety displayed the lowest academic achievement.


The authors suggested that the different psychological and academic outcomes caused by specific anxiety symptoms implied that anxiety interventions need to display a targeted focus and specific strategies for each group.


Source:Xu, X., Huebner, E. S., & Tian, L. (2021). Co-developmental trajectories of specific anxiety symptoms from middle childhood to early adolescence: associations with psychological well-being and academic achievement. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Advanced online publication. Doi: 10.1007/s10964-021-01411-5
Do Teachers Benefit from delivering an SEL intervention?

A Canadian study explored the impact on teachers of delivering a mindfulness-based social-emotional learning (SEL) program called MindUp with additional teacher training on trauma-informed practice. The study included 41 teachers in the control group and 71 teachers in the intervention group, composed of 45 teachers who delivered the intervention for one year, and 26 teachers who delivered the intervention for two years. Both groups included K-12 teachers and early childhood educators. Intervention teachers received a half-day in-person training on trauma-informed practice, and a full-day in-person MindUP training, in addition to another full-day extension training in the spring. The training for MindUp was offered by a trainer from the organization managing the program. After receiving the trainings, intervention teachers implemented MindUP in their classrooms throughout the school year. The intervention involved 15 weekly lessons and the implementation of core practice of the program three times a day. Comparison teachers received the same trainings and resources in the following year. The findings showed that:

After one or two years of the program implementation, teachers who delivered the intervention utilized significantly more trauma-informed practice (+0.16).

In particular, among the five subscales of the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the effects of MindUP were significant in teachers’ self-efficacy at work (+0.16) and reactions to work (+0.27).


These findings indicate potential benefits of SEL interventions for teachers who deliver them, in addition to the benefits for students already shown through multiple studies. While this study is a mixed-methods study using both quantitative and qualitative data, we only introduced the quantitative findings of the study.


Source:Kim, S., Crooks, C. V., Bax, K., & Shokoohi, M. (2021). Impact of trauma-informed training and mindfulness-based social–emotional learning program on teacher attitudes and burnout: A Mixed-Methods Study. School Mental Health, 13(1), 55-68.
How did Kindergarten Teachers’ Self-efficacy Lead to Children’s Social Skills?

Teachers’ efficacy is regarded as essential for the delivery of high-quality education. A recent research published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly examined how kindergarten teachers’ self-efficacy can affect children’s social skills through the classroom process quality, especially teacher-child interaction.

5,628 children and their teachers from 180 kindergarten classrooms participated in the study. The class sizes varied from 7 to 58 children per class. Teachers were surveyed about their teacher self-efficacy. Children’s social skills were assessed by their parents using the Social Skills Improvement System-Rating Scales. From the videos covering the major routines of the kindergartens, five randomly selected, 20 minutes observation cycles were extracted for trained observers to assess the teacher-child interaction quality with the CLASS observational tool. The analysis showed that:

Classroom organization, instead of emotion support and instructional support, significantly mediated teachers’ self-efficacy for classroom management and children’s social skills.

Classroom organization also significantly mediated teacher self-efficacy for student engagement and children’s social skills but negatively.


The authors suggested that while the negative mediation in the case of teachers with high efficacy for student engagement might reflect the collectivism of Chinese culture, the positive mediation of classroom organization did indicate the important role of a well-organized classroom to children’s social skills development.


Source:Hu, B. Y., Li, Y., Wang, C., Wu, H., & Vitiello, G. (2021). Preschool teachers’ self-efficacy, classroom process quality, and children’s social skills: A multilevel mediation analysis. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 55, 242-251.
The Counterattack Effect and Inheritance Effect of China’s Higher Education since the Implementation of the Reform and Opening-up Policy

Since the reform and opening up in China, scholars have always paid close attention to the role of education in intergenerational social mobility. Recently, an empirical study published in Education & Economy, using the pooled cross-sectional data of Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) 2005, 2006, and 2008, based on the OED(Origin-education-destination) the model analyzed the impact of higher education on intergenerational mobility of the agricultural labors and professionals, administrators and managers.

In this study, researchers calculated the Counterattack Index to reflect the effects of higher education in promoting the offspring of the agricultural workers are professionals, while the Inheritance Index was used to analyze the effects of higher education in helping the offspring of the administrators or professionals to maintain the status. This article established four models to verify, and using the product calculation to results and it showed that:

1.Since the reform and opening-up policy, the Counterattack Index is obviously lower than the Inheritance Index, and the comparative inferior status is much more significant in the undergraduate level than in the junior college level. In addition, the Counterattack Index and Inheritance Index in the junior college level is significantly lower than that in the undergraduate level.

2. The Counterattack Index of each birth generation is significantly lower than that of the Inheritance Index, and both the two indexes decreased gradually over time.

Then, this paper establishes four models to verify. On the basis of selected data, the condition of whether the offspring received higher education, and whether they work in managing or professional field as dependent variables. Furthermore, the data of family background and birth generation were selected as explanatory variables. Logistic analysis was used to compare the situation of receiving higher education and the chance of becoming managers and professionals among different social classes.

The main conclusions are as follows:

1. In the aspect of receiving higher education, comparing with the offspring from the managing and professional classes, those who grew up in the agricultural labor class are more likely to become managers and professionals.

2. As for the junior college level, the tendency of working in the managing or professional field of agricultural labors is relatively stronger than that of the other class.

3. In terms of the undergraduate, the offspring from the agricultural labor class is more difficult to obtain higher education opportunities than other classes.

Based on the above analysis and conclusion, it is recommended that the government should strive to ensure the lower social class to acquire equitable and high-quality opportunities of higher education.

Source:Yue, Z., & Ke, Y. (2020). The counterattack effect and inheritance effect of China’s higher education since the implementation of the reform and opening-up policy. Education & Economy, (06):59-67+84.