SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • time perspective;
  • hope;
  • early adolescence;
  • school transition;
  • developmental trajectory

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References

This study investigated the individual difference in trajectories of hope during the transition from elementary school to junior high school using seven waves of longitudinal data. The findings using 157 students from fifth to eighth grade showed there was a clear decrease in hope for the future for boys and girls, and also six different trajectories of hope for the future were found by cluster analyses. In contrast, a comparison between before and after transition using 755 students suggested hope for the future didn't change, but cluster analyses yielded six different fluctuations of hope for the future, which was similar to the results of the first analysis. In addition, the types with increment in hope showed an increase in self-esteem and peer support, whereas the types with decrement in hope showed a decrease in self-esteem and there was no difference in academic achievement between those types. Finally, the findings were discussed in terms of the importance of considering individual differences in hope to gain a better understanding of the developmental meaning of the transition from elementary school to junior high school.

School transition is a critical life event for many children and adolescents, particularly the transition from elementary school to junior high school. During this transition, early adolescents experience not only an ecological transition but also a developmental transition. They simultaneously meet many biological, cognitive, and interpersonal changes. The transition to junior high school may represent a key turning point or risky transition (Seidman & French, 1997). Since the first investigations concerning the transition to junior high school (Blyth, Simmons, & Bush, 1978; Blyth, Simmons, & Carlton-Ford, 1983), many studies have been conducted to clarify the developmental changes concerning self-esteem, adjustment, academic achievement, or other psychological variables during this transition (Seidman & French, 2004). However, little research has focused on individual differences. In the present study, we explore the developmental trajectories of time perspective during the transition from elementary school to junior high school.

School transition and individual development

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References

We meet many ecological transitions in our life. “An ecological transition occurs whenever a person's position in the ecological environment is altered as a result of a change in role, setting, or both” (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 26). When confronting an ecological transition, a person must try to adjust to the new situation, which might sometimes be a crisis for them (Yamamoto & Wapner, 1991). The crisis consist of two different categories: one is a maturational crisis, which is “characterized by a period of time of acute disorganization of behavior or affect precipitated by a transition from one developmental phase to another, such as entering kindergarten, becoming engaged, getting married, becoming a parent, and retiring” (Corsini, 2002), and the other is an accidental crisis, which is “characterized by a period of acute disorganization of behavior or affect precipitated by stressful and unpredictable life experience such as loss or change of job, or marital disruption” (Corsini, 2002).

The transition from elementary school to junior high school is one of the most important ecological transitions that involve a maturational crisis. In general, school transitions are divided into normative transition and nonnormative transition (Seidman & French, 2004). Nonnormative transition is an unexpected and unscheduled change of school, for example, a child moving to a new school as a result of a parent's job transfer. The transition from elementary school to junior high school is a normative transition that is expected and scheduled, and commonly experienced in the culture. Children can anticipate their school transition, but they must face a range of new demands associated with differences in school structure, classroom organization, teaching strategies, academic standers, and teacher expectations after the transition to junior high school. Children have already achieved their own developmental tasks at their own pace, so there is a large diversity of individual differences concerning the developmental level of psychological functions such as cognitive ability, self-development, and interpersonal relationships. Many biological, cognitive, and interpersonal changes occur during the early adolescent years (Seidman & French, 1997). At this time, some students may experience the crisis during transition as an opportunity for growth, and other students may experience the transition as a stage of decline. Developmental trajectories may diverge in early adolescence toward either healthy adjustment or psychopathology.

Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References

Blyth et al. (1978, 1983) found significant declines in grade point average (GPA) and mathematics achievement scores both for boys and girls, declines in scores of self-esteem for girls, and declines in extracurricular participation for boys, among those students who made the transition at seventh grade compared with those students who did not. Seidman, Allen, Aber, Mitchell, and Feinman (1994) also revealed significant declines in self-esteem from sixth grade to seventh grade. However, in contrast, a significant increase in self-esteem has also been found (Hirsch & Rapkin, 1987). Seidman, Lambert, Allen, and Aber (2003) found that adolescents who perceived fewer daily hassles and more involvement with their families prior to the transition to junior high school appeared less vulnerable to declines in scores of self-esteem.

As Seidman and French (2004) noted, self-esteem is one central psychological dimension that is examined in most studies, the other psychological variables such as stress, motivation, and adjustment, have also been examined. Analyses of the one-year transition data from elementary school to junior high school for boys and girls together reveal declines in perceived total support and teacher support as well as an increase in self-reported school problems (Martínez, Aricak, Graves, Peters-Myzak, & Nellis, 2011). Duchsne, Ratelle, Poitras, and Drouin (2009) showed that attachment to the mother predicts adolescents' worries about their relationship with their teachers, and academic performance during the transition to middle school through anxiety symptoms. Pellegrini and Long (2002) found that bullying and aggression increased with the transition to secondary school and then declined. Victimization declined from primary to secondary school. Correspondingly, youngsters' peer affiliations initially decreased with the transition, and then recovered.

Rudolph, Lambert, Clark, and Kurlakowsky (2001) examined the role of self-regulatory processes in the academic domain as key determinants of individual differences in reactions to the school transition between the fifth to sixth grades. They found that maladaptive self-regulatory beliefs predicted individual differences in perceived school-related stress and depressive symptoms over the course of the middle school transition.

There are two different research approach on the longitudinal studies during school transition; nomothetic and idiographic study (Seidman & French, 2004). In nomothetic analysis, the score difference index of psychological variables before and after school transition are calculated and contrasted with each other. Some of them declined with grade and the others are inclined. This information will be useful for improvements in constructing the educational transition system. In contrast, in idiographic analysis, the major purpose of the research is identifying individual differences during the transition. Seidman and French (2004) found seven different changing patterns of self-esteem trajectories during the pretransition, transition, and posttransition periods using cluster analysis. The idiographic study will be useful for improvements in constructing teaching support for each individual student.

The present study

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References

In this study we use nomothetic analysis to clarify the general developmental curve of time perspective during the transition, and also conduct an idiographic analysis to clarify individual differences in time perspective during the transition.

This study addresses the following questions. First, do some different types of time perspective changing pattern exist during the transition from elementary school to junior high school? Time perspective consists of cognitive, motivational, and affective aspects, and a basic cognitive ability (Tsuzuki, 1999). The cognitive aspect of time perspective, which refers to the total structure of future goals and plans, has an organizing role in students' daily behavior. Tsuzuki (2009) has already identified six different types of cognitive aspect of time perspective during the transition from junior high school to high school using cluster analysis. It is also highly possible to clarify some different types of time perspective that have distinguishing traits.

Next, do changing patterns of time perspective relate to other psychological variables that changed coincidently during this transition? More specifically, three measures of psychological variables such as self-esteem, self-reported academic achievement, and self-reported peer support are used in this study, based on the findings of previous longitudinal studies.

Method

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References

Participants and procedures

The data for this study were drawn from a 4-year longitudinal study of youth attending public schools in the Tokyo and Kanagawa prefecture area (Tsuzuki, 2008). The students attended four elementary schools and three junior high schools in three different school districts. In Japan, the academic school year begins in April. One academic year usually consists of three semesters: the spring, fall, and winter semesters. In the spring and winter semesters of the academic year, the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students in elementary school, and the seventh, eighth and ninth grade students in junior high school answered a questionnaire sheet in their daily classroom setting at school, provided by their teachers. From the spring of 2000 to the spring of 2004, seven waves of data were collected. In each wave, approximately 1100 elementary school students (from fourth grade to sixth grade) and 1100 junior high school students (from seventh grade to ninth grade) participated in this study. The total number of participants was 15 718.

This study was composed of the following two analyses. The first was to evaluate the trajectories of hope, using the longitudinal data of one cohort in which students answered the questionnaire seven times from fifth grade to eighth grade. The total number of students who entered junior high school in 2002 was 178 (68 boys and 110 girls).

The second was to evaluate the effect of hope during school transition; the longitudinal data from the students who answered the questionnaire before and after the transition to junior high school were used for analysis. The total number of students was 755. The students consisted of three cohorts who entered junior high school in the 2001 academic year (127 boys and 107 girls), in the 2002 academic year (106 boys and 146), and in the 2003 academic year (133 boys and 136 girls).

Measures

Time perspective.  Time perspective was assessed using the 10-item scale of the Time Perspective Scale for Early Adolescent (Tsuzuki, 2008). Factor analysis revealed four subscales: (a) Hope for the future (four items); (b) Desire for having future goal (two items); (c) Emptiness (two items); and (d) Planning (two items). In this study, the subscale of Hope for the future was used for analysis. The items were as follows: (a) I have already decided what I want to become in the future; (b) I have a thing what I try to do in the future; (c) I think my future life is bright; and (d) I don't think how my future will be (reverse item). Hope for the future refers to the cognitive aspect of time perspective, Desire for having future goal refers to the motivational aspect, Emptiness refers to the affective aspect, and finally Planning refers to the basic cognitive ability of time perspective.

Self-esteem.  Self-esteem was assessed using a four-item scale extracted from Rosenberg's 10-item Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965): (a) I feel that I have a number of good qualities; (b) All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure (reverse item); (c) On the whole, I am satisfied with myself; and (d) At times I think I am no good at all (reverse item).

Academic achievement.  Academic achievement was assessed using a self-report measure that consisted of two items to query students about schoolwork attainment: (a) I am pleased with my lesson at school; and (b) I understand my study at school.

Peer relationship.  Peer relationship was assessed using a self-report measure that consisted of two items to query students about their interpersonal relationship with their friends: (a) I have close friends; and (b) I would like to have more time to play with my friends.

All items of the above four measures were scored on a four-point scale. The Cronbach alpha for the subscales in this study was: Hope for the future, 0.67; Self-esteem, 0.67; Academic achievement, 0.60; and Peer relationship, 0.60.

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References

Trajectories of hope across the transition from elementary school to junior high school

Table 1 shows descriptive information on the extent to which boys' and girls' hopes for the future changed as they progressed from elementary school to junior high school. A 2 (sex) × 7 (time) ANOVA indicated that for the criterion variable there was no significant difference between boys and girls, F(1, 155) = 0.53, ns, but there was a significant decrement over time, F(6, 630) = 9.86, p < .001. The interaction between sex and time was not statistically significant, F(6, 630) = 1.06, ns. As shown in Table 1, the scores on Hope for the future gradually decreased from the fifth grade to the eighth grade both in boys (0.30 points) and girls (0.29 points). During the transition from elementary school (sixth grade in winter) to junior high school (seventh grade in spring), a slight drop concerning hope for the future was found for both boys (0.08 points) and girls (0.03). As shown in Table 1, multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method revealed that scores on Hope for the future in the winter semester of seventh grade and the spring semester of eighth grade were significantly lower than those of other grades.

Table 1.  Means and standard deviations on Hope for the future for sex
 BoyGirlTotal
MSDMSDMSD
  1. Note. *p < 0.05.

1. Fifth spring3.030.703.080.693.060.69
2. Fifth winter3.040.643.080.633.060.63
3. Sixth spring3.070.692.990.653.020.67
4. Sixth winter2.990.733.070.623.040.66
5. Seventh spring2.910.833.040.712.990.76
6. Seventh winter2.730.712.850.742.800.73
7. Eighth spring2.730.642.790.722.770.69
Multiple comparison2·3 > 6·7*1·2 > 7*, 4·5 > 6·7*1·2·3·4 > 6·7*

The correlation coefficients among the three aspects of time perspective and basic cognitive ability indicated that there were weak positive correlations between Hope for the future and Desire for having future goal (r = .010 to .370). Very weak negative correlations were obtained between Hope for the future and Emptiness (r = −.290 to −.003). There were very weak correlations between Hope for the future and Planning (r = .004 to .260).

In the next step, we tried to clarify the developmental trajectories of time perspective. We conducted Ward's method of hierarchical cluster analyses, using squared Euclidean distance, to identify the best-fitting cluster solution. We examined two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-cluster solutions. A six-cluster solution provided the best and most parsimonious fit to the data. Because of missing data, 21 participants were not classified into one of the six clusters. Of seven waves of data from 157 students, six very different trajectories were revealed, as can be seen in Table 2. The percentage of sex for the six clusters was not significantly different χ2(5) = 2.27, ns.

Table 2.  Trajectory of Hope for the future: Means and standard deviations by seven waves
 Delayed DeclineGradually DeclineHigh StableLow StableDelayed IncreaseMedium Stable
MSDMSDMSDMSDMSDMSD
  1. Note. *p < 0.05.

1. Fifth spring2.940.463.140.413.610.432.590.793.180.501.970.54
2. Fifth winter3.130.413.080.413.640.332.150.392.710.442.830.48
3. Sixth spring3.230.402.830.503.650.342.170.652.690.452.470.22
4. Sixth winter3.100.452.670.533.580.372.200.613.250.512.690.33
5. Seventh spring3.200.471.940.393.660.362.200.643.250.362.780.43
6. Seventh winter2.610.432.170.603.410.51.910.393.410.362.940.42
7. Eighth spring2.520.462.270.533.350.452.050.533.370.312.670.59
Multiple comparison1 > 7,2·3·4·5 > 6·7*1·2·3 > 5·6·7,4 > 5·6,2 > 4* 1 > 2,2·3 < 4·5·6·7*1 < 2·4·5·6·7*
N36(22.9%)22(14.0%)45(28.7%)25(15.9%)17(10.8%)12(7.6%)

Table 2 shows six different trajectories of Hope for the future in the seven waves. A 6 (cluster) × 7 (time) ANOVA on the score of Hope for the future indicated that there were significant differences on two main effects: cluster, F(5, 151) = 167.57, p < .001, and time, F(6, 906) = 4.79, p < .001. The interaction between cluster and time was also statistically significant, F(30, 906) = 9.87, p < .001.

As shown in Table 2, three trajectories indicated a small change from fifth to eighth grade, and each of them had different levels of score on Hope for the future. The High Stable trajectory started high and remained high, that is, above 3.40. High Stable, which occupied first place (28.7%), kept a high level of hope for the future during early adolescence. In contrast, the Low Stable trajectory always remained low, that is, beneath 2.20, except for the spring semester of fifth grade (2.59). Low Stable accepted a low level of hope for the future. The Medium Stable trajectory was located between High Stable and Low Stable. Medium Stable, which remained between 2.00 and 3.00, except for the spring semester of fifth grade (1.97). Multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method concerning the score on Hope for the future showed that High Stable was significantly higher than the other five trajectories (p < .05), Low Stable was significantly lower than the other five trajectories (p < .05), Medium Stable was significantly lower than Delayed Increase (p < .05) and higher than Delayed Decline (p < .05), Delayed Increase was significantly higher than Gradually Decline (p < .05), and Delayed Decline was significantly higher than Gradually Decline (p < .05).

The other three trajectories showed fluctuation at each different time. Table 2 shows the results of multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method for these three trajectories. Delayed Decline trajectory started medium-high (2.94) and kept above 3.00 after the transition to junior high school (spring of seventh grade) and declined to 2.61. The scores on Hope for the future in the winter semester of seventh grade and the spring semester of eighth grade were significantly lower than those of the other grades. Delayed Decline slightly lost hope for the future after the transition period in junior high school.

The Gradually Declined trajectory showed a one-way decrement of hope for the future and they looked at their future less hopefully. The scores on Hope for the future in the spring and winter semesters of seventh grade and the spring semester of eighth grade were significantly lower than those of the other grades.

Finally, the Delayed Increase trajectory indicated a sudden increment from the spring semester of sixth grade (2.69) to the winter semester of the same grade (3.25). Multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method showed that this difference was statistically significant. Delayed Increase showed a rather dramatic increase concerning the score on Hope for the future before the transition to junior high school.

Effect of hope during the school transition

Table 3 contains the means and standard deviations on Hope for the future for boys and girls. A 2 (sex) × 2 (transition) ANOVA did not reveal any significant main effect of either sex, F(1, 719) = 0.922, ns, or transition: F(1, 719) = 0.16, ns. The interaction between sex and transition was not statistically significant, F(1, 719) = 0.03, ns.

Table 3.  Means and standard deviations of Hope for the future by transitional year for sex
 BoyGirlTotal
MSDMSDMSD
Pretransition2.880.632.920.592.900.61
Posttransition2.860.662.910.592.890.62
N366389755

Table 4 contains the means and standard deviations of Hope for the future for three cohorts. A 3 (cohort) × 2 (transition) ANOVA didn't reveal any significant main effect of either cohort, F(1, 718) = 0.531, ns, or transition, F(1, 718) = 0.14, ns. The interaction between cohort and transition was not statistically significant, F(1, 718) = 0.45, ns. These results indicated that there were neither sex differences nor cohort differences concerning hope for the future during the transition. In addition, these results suggested there was no increment or decrement of time perspective during the transition from elementary school to junior high school. In the first section of the results we extracted six very different trajectories of hope for the future in early adolescents, so that it might be possible to extract some different changing types of time perspective just before and after the school transition.

Table 4.  Means and standard deviations of Hope for the future by transitional year for cohort
 2001 cohort2002 cohort2003 cohort
MSDMSDMSD
Pretransition2.890.612.890.622.920.61
Posttransition2.880.642.850.642.920.59
N234252269

In the next step, we conducted Ward's method of hierarchical cluster analyses, using squared Euclidean distance, to identify the best-fitting cluster solution. We examined two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-cluster solutions. A six-cluster solution provided the best and most parsimonious fit to the data. Because of missing data, 34 participants were not classified into one of the six clusters. The percentages of sex and cohort for the six clusters was not significantly different: gender, χ2(5) = 5.18, ns and cohort, χ2(10) = 9.16, ns.

Figure 1 showed six different types of fluctuation concerning hope for the future during the transition to junior high school. The six types were divided into three different subcategories: increase, decrease, and stable. One of the increase types started low (2.37) and the other started at a medium level (3.02), and then both of their scores inclined during the school transition. We named the former type as Increase from Low, and the latter as Increase from Middle. Next, two decrease types were also extracted. One of the decrease types started high (3.58), and the other started at a medium level (2.92), and then both of their scores declined rapidly during the school transition. We named the former type as Decrease from Top, and the latter as Decrease from Middle. Finally, two types were at rest, which were the same with no change concerning hope for the future during the school transition. High Stable started high (3.61) and remained high (3.67) after the transition, and in contrast, Low Stable started low (2.00) and remained low (1.97) after the transition.

image

Figure 1. Mean score on Hope during the transition to junior high school.

Download figure to PowerPoint

To examine psychological variables such as self-esteem, academic achievement, and peer relationship change across the transition to junior high school, a repeated-measures ANOVA with time perspective type as a between groups variable was performed. The means and standard deviations for all variables are displayed in Table 5. The results indicated that Self-esteem, F(1, 691) = 6.01, p < .05, and Peer relationship F(1, 706) = 14.93, p < .001, declined significantly across the transition to junior high school, but Academic achievement didn't reveal any change across this transition, F(1, 714) = 1.50, ns. The data also revealed a significant difference among the six types of Hope in Self-esteem, F(5, 691) = 18.6, p < .001. The interaction between transition and six types of Hope in Self-esteem was not statistically significant, F(5, 691) = 1.02, ns. Multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method concerning the score for Self-esteem showed that the High Stable type was significantly higher than the other five types (p < .05), and that the Low Stable type was significantly lower than the Increase from Low, Increase from Top, Decrease from Middle, and High Stable types (p < .05).

Table 5.  Means and standard deviations of related factors during the transition to junior high school for six Hope types
 Increase from LowDecrease from TopIncrease from MiddleDecrease from MiddleLow StableHigh Stable
MSDMSDMSDMSDMSDMSD
Self-esteem            
 Pre2.400.482.400.602.500.492.420.482.190.552.730.57
 Post2.490.482.350.592.580.492.470.412.190.602.790.59
Academic achievement            
 Pre2.660.712.840.682.770.622.750.602.480.623.030.66
 Post2.840.482.780.672.870.572.750.572.510.693.030.67
Peer relationship            
 Pre3.240.673.490.633.490.593.420.663.280.753.440.76
 Post3.420.613.510.633.620.533.480.543.420.603.580.63
N (%)96 (13.3)68 (9.4)170 (23.6)134 (18.6)124 (17.2)129 (17.9)

The data also revealed a significant difference among the six types of Hope in Academic Achievement, F(5, 714) = 13.48, p < .001. The interaction between transition and the six types of Hope in Academic Achievement was not statistically significant, F(5, 714) = 1.50, ns. Multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method concerning the score for Academic Achievement showed that the High Stable type was significantly higher than the Increase from Low, Increase from Middle, Decrease from Middle, and Low stable types (p < .05), and that the Low stable type was significantly lower than the other five types (p < .05).

The data also revealed a significant difference among the six types of Hope in Peer relationship, F(5, 706) = 3.78, p < .01. The interaction between transition and the six types of Hope in Peer relationship was not statistically significant, F(5, 706) = 0.53, ns. Multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method concerning the score of Peer relationship showed that the Increase from Low type was significantly lower than the Increase from Middle type (p < .05), and the Increase from Middle type was significantly higher than the Low Stable type (p < .05).

As shown in Table 5 the score for Self-esteem and Peer relationship inclined during the transition for the Increase from Low type and the Increase from Middle type. However, in contrast, the score of Self-esteem declined during the transition for the Decrease from Top type.

Discussions

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References

The results of this study indicate that early adolescents' hope for the future gradually decline with grade for boys and girls. This longitudinal decrement tendency replicates the findings of the cross-sectional data analysis by Tsuzuki (2008). In addition, cluster analysis reveals quite different patterns of longitudinal changing of hope for the future among early adolescents. Two of the six changing patterns, Delayed Decline and Gradually Decline, seem to indicate a rather similar trajectory to that of boys and girls in total. The percentage of Delayed Decline is 22.9 and that of Gradually Decline is 14.4, so that only two-fifths of adolescents may fit the general decrement changing pattern of time perspective. Among the other four types, three do not indicate fluctuation and maintain almost the same level of hope for the future with grade and each other. High Stable may be the best adjustment type for school, and they set a high level of hope for their future life. Low Stable may be the worst adjustment type for school, and they set only a lower level of hope for their future life. Middle Stable lies between High Stable and Low Stable. It is suggested that educational support for Low Stable is needed from an early period before the transition from elementary school to junior high school. Delayed Increase showed a great increment of hope for the future from spring of sixth grade to winter, which period is just located before the transition to junior high school, so that this type of students could have full preparation and motivation for the next new school circumstances.

The results of this study also indicate that the score of Hope for the future showed almost the same level before and after school transition for boys and girls mutually. Also, the three different time cohorts showed no change concerning level of hope for the future before and after transition. However, cluster analysis of the same longitudinal data revealed that there exist clearly different types of hope for the future between pretransition and posttransition. In two of them, hope for the future increases (Increase from Middle and Increase from Low), decreases (Decrease from Top and Decrease from Middle) and is stable (High Stable and Low Stable). None of the six types is suitable for the general tendency, which indicates a stable line just over the middle point. It is suggested that a generally transitional changing pattern doesn't represent any individual changing pattern found using cluster analysis, so idiographic analysis produces very useful information.

The results show that the scores of Self-esteem and Peer support increase in two of the increase types of time perspective (Increase from Low and Increase from Middle) during the transition. Perceived social support might be a key factor predicting a successful transition from an elementary to a junior high school (King, Huebner, Suldo, & Valois, 2006; Martínez et al. 2011). It is suggested that students who think they have more social support from friends after the transition to junior high school, in which they have to adjust to a new school situation, can see their future more positively.

In contrast, the score of Self-esteem decreases in one of the decrease types of time perspective (Decrease from Top). This type of students loses self-esteem during the transition, so that they have a reduced level of hope for the future in their new school circumstances. The opposite tendencies are shown in two of the increase types of time perspective.

In general, our findings emphasize the need to look carefully at individual differences in time perspective during the transition from elementary school to junior high school, and suggest that there may be a causal relation between time perspective and other psychological variables. More studies examining causal models are needed to help explain the complex associations between time perspective and other psychological variables.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. School transition and individual development
  4. Longitudinal studies during the transition from elementary school to junior high school
  5. The present study
  6. Method
  7. Results
  8. Discussions
  9. References
  • Blyth, D. A., Simmons, R. G., & Bush, D. M. (1978). The transition into early adolescence: A longitudinal comparison of youth in two educational contexts. Sociology of Education, 51, 149162.
  • Blyth, D. A., Simmons, R. G., & Carlton-Ford, S. (1983). The adjustment to early adolescent school transitions. Journal of Early Adolescence, 3, 105120.
  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and by design. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Corsini, R. J. (Ed.) (2002). The dictionary of psychology. New York: Brunner-Routledge.
  • Duchsne, S., Ratelle, C. F., Poitras, S.-C., & Drouin, E. (2009). Early adolescent attachment to parents, emotional problems, and teacher-academic worries about middle school transition. Journal of Early Adolescence, 29, 743766.
  • Hirsch, B., & Rapkin, B. D. (1987). The transition to junior high school: A longitudinal study of self-esteem, psychological symptomatology, school life, and social support. Child Development, 58, 12351342.
  • King, A. L. D., Huebner, S., Suldo, S. M., & Valois, R. F. (2006). An ecological view of school satisfaction in adolescence: Linkages between social support and behavior problems. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1, 279295.
  • Martínez, R. S., Aricak, O. T., Graves, M. N., Peters-Myzak, J., & Nellis, L. (2011). Changes in perceived social support and socioemotional adjustment across the elementary to junior high school transition. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 519530.
  • Pellegrini, A. D., & Long, J. D. (2002). A longitudinal study of bullying, dominance, and victimization during the transition from primary school trough secondary school. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 20, 259280.
  • Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Rudolph, K. D., Lambert, S. F., Clark, A. G., & Kurlakowsky, K. D. (2001). Negotiating the transition to middle school: The role of self-regulatory processes. Child Development, 72, 929946.
  • Seidman, E., Allen, L., Aber, J. L., Mitchell, C., & Feinman, J. (1994). The impact of school transitions in early adolescence on the self-system and perceived social context of poor urban youth. Child Development, 65, 507522.
  • Seidman, E., & French, S. E. (1997). Normative school transitions among urban adolescents: When, where, and how to intervene. In H. J. Walberg, O. Reyes, & R. P. Weissberg (Eds.), Children and youth: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 166189.
  • Seidman, E., & French, S. E. (2004). Developmental trajectories and ecological transitions: A two-step procedure to aid in the choice of prevention and promotion interventions. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 11411159.
  • Seidman, E., Lambert, L. E., Allen, L., & Aber, J. L. (2003). Urban adolescents' transition to junior high school and protective family transactions. Journal of Early Adolescence, 23, 166193.
  • Tsuzuki, M. (1999). Time perspective in undergraduate students: A psychological investigation on structural model. Tokyo: Chuo University Press. (In Japanese, translated by the author of this article.)
  • Tsuzuki, M. (2008). Transition from elementary school to junior high school and time perspective: A longitudinal study. Kyoto: Nakanishiya Shuppan. (In Japanese, translated by the author of this article.)
  • Tsuzuki, M. (2009). Transition from junior high school to high school and time perspective: A longitudinal study. Kyoto: Nakanishiya Shuppan. (In Japanese, translated by the author of this article.)
  • Yamamoto, T., & Wapner, S. (Eds.) (1991). Jinsei ikou no hattatsu shinrigaku. [Developmental psychology in life transition.]. Kyoto: Kitaoji Shobou. (In Japanese, translated by the author of this article.)