Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Social Competence and School Systems as Predictor of Academic Achievement in High and Low Achieving Pakistani School Children

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Social Competence and School Systems as Predictor of Academic Achievement in High and Low Achieving Pakistani School Children

Article excerpt

Society is an important variable that influence the human behavior and there are several social norms to regulate human relationships and interactions. By keeping the importance of society in view, psychologists have identified different competencies that can contribute in effective interaction with society. Like the other constructs, there has been no universal consensus over the definition of social competence. However the most common theme that majority of the researchers conceptualized is social competence that refers to the effectiveness in social interaction which is central aspect of all research literatures (Dodge, 1985; Rubin & Rose-Krasnor, 1992).

Many researchers have been using different approaches to measure and explain social competence but there are four most commonly used approaches: a) Social skill approach b) Sociomateric status c) Relationship approach d) Functional approach (Rose- Krasnor, 1997). The relationship between social competence and academic achievement has been investigated for last two decades across the culture and ages. Green, Forehand, Beck, and Vosk (1980) reported that those children with high academic achievement were more adaptive, less rejected and disliked by peers, viewed as less deviant and engaged in more positive interaction with peers than students with low academic achievement. Another study reported that socially responsible behavior may value educational outcomes. Moreover, social and intellectual are the concurrent and separate outcomes that students achieve at school. Secondly, teaching strategies may influence the likelihood of students to behave as a responsible. Thirdly, continuous failure may lead the students towards the violation of social norms of the classroom and they behave as an irresponsible and antisocial individual (Wentzel, 1991). Social competence has been investigated using culturally specific measures because dimensions of social competence vary across the cultures.

Zsolnai (2002) explored the components of social competence that could affect academic achievement. He analyzed components including dynamism, dominance, politeness, cooperativeness, scrupulousness, perseverance, emotional control, impulse control, openness, internal-external attitude control and attachment. Results revealed the strong correlation of academic achievement with the components that manifest social personality factors except emotional stability. Findings further revealed that friendliness and openness were strong predictors of each other among social factors. Similarly, a longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the impact of early prosocial and aggressive behavior in children's academic achievement and social ties to their peers five years later. Findings revealed that early prosocial behaviors strongly predict the subsequent level of academic achievement while early aggressiveness did not predict social and academic performance even after five years (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Pastorelli, Bandura, & Zimbardo, 2000). Some researchers have focused the empathy and aggression as important components of social competence. Strayer and Robert (2004) conducted an observational study to examine the relationship among empathy, anger and aggression in children The claim made by researcher that there was negative relationship between aggression and empathy does make sense because these constructs are different in nature.

The importance of social competence can be viewed in several perspectives e.g., developmental perspective, gender differences, and cultural context. As children grow up, their growing cognitive abilities, emotional and communication skills help them in acquiring more sophisticated social abilities (Parker et al., 1995). Children become more aware of other feelings, thoughts and expectations. This awareness leads them to widen their ability to use social strategies (Rubin & RoseKrasnor, 1992). Relationships, and peer acceptance become more important with the age e. …

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