Classroom climate and children's academic and psychological wellbeing: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ming Te Wang, Jessica L. Degol, Jamie Amemiya, Alyssa Parr, Jiesi Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Although research has documented the link between classroom climate and children's learning, evidence about whether and how classroom characteristics are linked to academic and psychological outcomes remains equivocal. This study used a meta-analytic approach to synthesize existing research with the goal of determining (a) the extent to which classroom climate as a multidimensional construct was associated with youth's academic, behavioral, and socioemotional outcomes from kindergarten to high school and (b) whether the relations between classroom climate and youth's outcomes differed by dimensions of classroom climate, study design, and child characteristics. Analysis included 61 studies (679 effect sizes and 73,824 participants) published between 2000 and 2016. The results showed that overall classroom climate had small-to-medium positive associations with social competence, motivation and engagement, and academic achievement and small negative associations with socioemotional distress and externalizing behaviors. Moderator analyses revealed that the negative association between classroom climate and socioemotional distress varied by classroom climate dimensions, with socioemotional support being the strongest. The strength of the associations between classroom climate and youth's outcomes also differed by measurement of classroom climate and study design, though the patterns of the associations were mostly consistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100912
JournalDevelopmental Review
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by National Science Foundation ( 1315943 ) and Spencer Foundation to Ming-Te Wang.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Child and adolescent development
  • Classroom climate
  • Classroom dynamics
  • Classroom quality
  • Meta-analysis


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