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Social support, stress, and adaptation
Letters of explanation and consent forms will be sent to parents or guardians of students meeting the initial
criteria for participation based on school system records. Parents will return the forms by mail.
Participating students will receive an age-appropriate gift for their participation.
An initial interview will take place in the fall of the students’ first year, with a follow-up interview
two years later. Students will be interviewed individually at school in a private location. Interviewers will
be matched to the child by cultural background and fluent in the child’s home language. Interviewers will
be assigned randomly, within cultural groups, to participants across grades, with the constraint that each
interviewer will be responsible for an equivalent number of students by grade and gender. Teachers will
provide ratings of school adaptation and psychological adjustment toward the end of each school year.
Academic performance indicators will be obtained from school records at the end of each year.
Most of the proposed measures have been employed in previous research and all of the measures
have good psychometric properties. These measures will be translated into participants’ languages and
verified through back-translation by native speakers from the relevant cultural backgrounds.
Social support. Social support information will be obtained through the Children's Convoy
Mapping Procedure (Levitt, Guacci-Franco, & Levitt, 1993). Respondents are asked to place persons
closest and most important to them in the inner circle of a concentric circle diagram, with those less close,
but still important in middle and outer circles. They are then asked to identify persons in the network who
provide each of six support functions tapping the support domains specified in the convoy model (affective
support, self-affirmation, and instrumental assistance). The sum of the support functions provided by all
persons in the social network will be used in the proposed analyses.