Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kathleen A. Gathercoal, PhD

Second Advisor

Kristie Knows His Gun, PsyD

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Hamilton, PhD


This study sought to examine the relationship between perceived stress, social-emotional functioning, cognitive functioning, and statewide academic testing in both European American and Latinx students in third grade classes in two schools in rural Oregon. A total of 47 third grade students participated in the study, including 31 European American students and 13 Latinx students. A non-verbal measure of cognitive ability (The Wechsler Nonverbal Scale of intelligence) was administered individually to each of the 47 students. Additionally, a rating scale of social emotional intelligence (Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scales Short Form for child and Teacher) was self-reported (SEARS-C) and teacher-rated (SEARS-T). A perceived stress student rating (Perceived Stress Scale) was self-reported by the students. State wide testing results (OAKS) were obtained for participants. Mean scores on the tests did not differ for Euro-American and Latinx students. Correlation matrices among the measures were calculated for the Euro-American and Latinx samples. A binomial test of difference between two correlations revealed the relationships among cognition, social emotional intelligence, stress, and achievement differed in the two samples. Findings suggest that although European American and Latinx students received commensurate scores across domains, there are notable differences in the way perceived stress and non-verbal ability impact each group. Low stress for Latinx students’ is correlated with high academic achievement whereas for European American students’ high stress is correlated with high academic achievement. This indicates that ethnicity may be a modifier variable for how perceived stress impacts academic functioning.