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Affective social competence and teacher-child relationship quality: Race/ethnicity and family income level as moderators

This study examined whether race/ethnicity and family income level moderated associations between children's affective social competence and teacher-child relationships among 132 Black, White, and Latino preschoolers. Boys and girls were equally represented in the sample. Of the three racial/ethnic groups, Latino children scored lowest on emotion regulation, were less close to their teachers, and experienced more teacher-child conflict and dependence. In contrast, Black children had closer, less conflict-laden, and less dependent teacher-child relationships than children of other racial/ethnic backgrounds. Emotion regulation served as a protective factor against problematic teacher-child relationships, particularly for Latino and Black children compared with high-income White children. Emotion regulation was positively associated with teacher-child closeness for Black children. However, it was negatively associated with teacher-child conflict for Latino children, regardless of income. For all outcomes, teacher characteristics accounted highly for the differences in teacher-child relational quality. Findings are discussed in terms of the functional role of emotions for teacher-child relationships and suggest important contextual influences on the associations. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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