School Psychology Review

Is American Student Behavior Getting Worse? Teacher Ratings Over an 18-Year Period

Thomas M. Achenbach, Levent Dumenci, Leslie A. Rescorla

pp. 428-442

Mini-Series: Academic Enablers to Improve Student Performance: Considerations for Research and Practice

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Abstract. Scores for academic performance, adaptive functioning, DSM-oriented scales, and empirically based scales on the Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) were compared for demographically similar samples of 7- to 16-year-old students assessed in 1981, 1989, and 1999, and for randomly selected population-based national samples assessed in 1989 and 1999. Problem scores increased from 1981 to 1989 and decreased from 1989 to 1999, with all effect sizes being very small.Problem item scores correlated from .95 to .99 between assessment years, indicating very high stability for the assessment procedure over 8, 10, and 18 years. Gender differences were much larger than most other demographic effects, but did not affect the comparisons between years.