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Young children's perceptions of teacher-child relationships: An evaluation of two instruments and the role of child gender in kindergarten

The psychometric qualities of two instruments that measure children's perceptions of teacher-child relationships were evaluated in a sample of kindergartners (N = 150): The Young Children's Appraisals of Teacher Support (Y-CATS) and the Kindergartner-Teacher Interaction Computer (KLIC) test. On the Y-CATS, children judged propositions on a dichotomous response format. On the KLIC, children evaluated pictures according to a two-step response procedure to obtain a 4-point scale. Furthermore, these instruments were employed to explore gender differences in the associations between the teacher-child relationship and indices of maladaptive behavior. Teachers completed measures of relationship quality and children's behavior problems. A three-dimensional structure of the Y-CATS (Warmth, Conflict, and Autonomy Support) was found, whereas the KLIC's structure was unidimensional. The KLIC showed high reliability but stronger evidence was obtained for the validity of the Y-CATS. Consistent with attachment-based research, the results indicated that children display gender-typical problem behavior when having non-close teacher-child relationships. (author abstract)
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