ERIC Number: EJ1027762
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
A Person-Centred Analysis of Teacher-Child Relationships in Early Childhood
Hughes, Kathleen; Bullock, Amanda; Coplan, Robert J.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v84 n2 p253-267 Jun 2014
Background: Previously, the nature of teacher-child relationships (TCRs) has been explored through dimensions of close, conflicted, and dependent. However, this "variable-centred" approach is limited, as many relationships can be characterized by more than one characteristic or trait. A "person-centred" approach would allow for a greater understanding of the types of relationships that are formed and improved interpretation of the students' socio-emotional outcomes associated with that relationship. Aims: The primary goal of this study was to examine the socio-emotional functioning of young children who formed distinct types of TCRs. Sample: Participants were n = 202 kindergarten children (98 girls, 104 boys, M[subscript age] = 64.12 months, SD = 4.86). Method: Multi-source assessment was employed with data collected from parent ratings, teacher reports, child interviews, and naturalistic observations in the classroom. Using quartile cut-offs, we identified children who formed conflicted, dependent, and "combined" (conflicted and dependent) TCRs. Results: Results indicated distinct patterns of socio-emotional functioning for each TCR group. For example, whereas children in conflicted TCRs evidenced greater externalizing difficulties, children with dependent TCRs had greater internalizing difficulties. Children who evidenced high levels of both conflicted and dependent TCRs displayed the most pervasive socio-emotional difficulties. Conclusions: Children who form TCRs characterized by high levels of both conflict and dependency displayed the most pervasive adjustment difficulties. Further investigation is needed to improve our understanding of this group and to assess the plausibility of early intervention strategies.
Descriptors: Teacher Student Relationship, Kindergarten, Preschool Teachers, Young Children, Social Development, Emotional Development, Parent Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Interviews, Student Attitudes, Naturalistic Observation, Surveys, Conflict, Behavior Problems, Student Adjustment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A