Psychological and psychobiological stress in the relationship between basic cognitive function and school performance

  • Eugenia Fernández-Martín Universidad de Málaga
  • Maria-Victoria Trianes-Torres Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación. Universidad de Málaga
  • Enrique-F. Maldonado-Montero Departamento de Psicobiología y Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento. Universidad de Málaga.
  • Jesús Miranda-Páez Departamento de Psicobiología y Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento. Universidad de Málaga.
  • Carmen Ortiz Laboratorio de Análisis Clínico del Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria de Málaga.
  • Alfredo Engüix Laboratorio de Análisis Clínico del Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria de Málaga.
Keywords: Basic cognitive function, school performance, daily stress, cortisol/dheas ratio, children.

Abstract

This study analyses the role played by daily stress, assessed through self-report and at the psychobiological level, in relation to basic cognitive function when predicting school performance. The sample comprised 100 schoolchildren (55 girls and 45 boys, age range 8 to 11 years) from a state school in the city of Malaga (Spain). Daily stress was assessed through the Children’s Daily Stress Inventory (IIEC in Spanish; Trianes et al., 2009). Psychobiological stress was measured through the cortisol/DHEAS ratio, derived from saliva samples taken in the morning on two consecutive days. Basic cognitive skills were assessed by means of the Computerized Cognitive Assessment System (CDR battery; Wesnes et al., 2003, 2000). Finally, the measure of school performance was the mean value of the final grades recorded in the child’s school report. In addition to descriptive and correlational statistical analyses, multiple regression analyses were conducted in order to assess the model. The results show that children’s daily stress self-reported contributes to predict school performance, and has proven to be more influential than basic cognitive function when it comes to predict school performance. Therefore, in order to achieve good school performance, a pupil not only requires good basic cognitive function, but must also present low levels of self-reported daily stress. These findings suggest a new way of explaining and predicting school failure.

Author Biographies

Eugenia Fernández-Martín, Universidad de Málaga

Doctora por la Universidad de Málaga, Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación

Profesora en la Universidad de Málaga en el Departamento de Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación

Maria-Victoria Trianes-Torres, Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación. Universidad de Málaga
Catedrática del Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación. Universidad de Málaga.
Enrique-F. Maldonado-Montero, Departamento de Psicobiología y Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento. Universidad de Málaga.
Profesor titular del departamento de de Psicobiología y Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento. Universidad de Málaga.Profesor titular del departamento de de Psicobiología y Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento. Universidad de Málaga.
Jesús Miranda-Páez, Departamento de Psicobiología y Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento. Universidad de Málaga.
Profesor titular del departamento de de Psicobiología y Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento. Universidad de Málaga.
Published
25-12-2014
How to Cite
Fernández-Martín, E., Trianes-Torres, M.-V., Maldonado-Montero, E.-F., Miranda-Páez, J., Ortiz, C., & Engüix, A. (2014). Psychological and psychobiological stress in the relationship between basic cognitive function and school performance. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 31(1), 120-126. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.31.1.151451
Section
Developmental and Educational Psychology