Entry into middle school: Student factors predicting adaptation to an ecological transition

Carolyn Pisano Leonard, Maurice J. Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The transition to middle school has not been a frequent topic of empirical research. This article presents six guidcposts for conceptualizing this transition. These guideposts focus upon the transaction between attributes of students and multiple levels of their ecological environment. How these operate to influence student's adaptation to middle school is discussed and data which focus on the child portion of this transaction are presented. Predictive relationships between measures of pre-transition adjustment and adaptation following middle school entry are examined, with a special focus on social-cognitive problem solving skills. Other indices included self-concept, peer relations, academic performance, school behavior, and student's self-reported ability to cope with typical Stressors of middle school. Significant findings, as well as implications for research and intervention, are discussed in terms of an ecological model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-57
Number of pages19
JournalPrevention in Human Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Leadership and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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