The Antecedent Factors of Teacher-Child Relationship Quality
Trang, Kim Thien
University of Kansas
Psychology & Research in Education
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High-quality relationships with teachers positively impact child academic and social outcomes. Teachers provide emotional and behavioral supports essential for success in the classroom. Less is known, however, about the antecedents of teacher-child relationship quality. This study examined the roles of child interpersonal skills, teacher expectations, and school racial and poverty compositions on the quality of relationships formed between teachers and children. A subsample from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Cohort 2010-11 data set was used to fit two-level, multivariate regression models. The models evaluated the role of child interpersonal skills and moderating roles of teacher expectations and school racial and poverty compositions on teacher-child closeness and conflict. Results showed teacher-child conflict was predicted by child interpersonal skills, child and school-level internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors, and teacher expectations. School racial and poverty compositions moderated the relations between teacher expectations and teacher-child conflict. In addition, teacher-child closeness was predicted by poverty status, parent-child warmth, internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors, and interpersonal skills. School proportion of Asian students moderated the relation between teacher expectations and teacher-child conflict. Overall, findings suggest teacher-child relationship quality is associated with child socioemotional skills and teacher expectations, with school racial and poverty compositions as moderators.
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