This study explores children's development of behavior problems in specific classroom situations characterized by meaningful teacher interactions (teacher contexts) and structured learning activities (learning contexts) during the first four years of schooling. Multidimensional growth mixture modeling was employed to detect unobserved subpopulations (latent classes) with common trajectories of teacher- and learning- context behavior among a US national sample (N = 3872) of children from low-income backgrounds. Analyses revealed three subpopulations with distinct behavior trajectories that were differentially associated with first-grade academic skills and social-emotional outcomes. Children with ‘Optimal’ and ‘Difficult’ school transitions had similar patterns of behavior problems in both Teacher and Learning contexts, whereas children with ‘Moderate’ school transitions had more divergent trajectories of behavior problems across context domains. Results are discussed in light of developmental theory and implications for practice. (author abstract)
Latent trajectories of learning- and teacher-context behavior problems across the primary school transition
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