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Child-related factors that influence teacher-child relationships using an Australian national sample

This study assessed the extent to which child-related factors had an impact on teacher-child relationships in Australian childcare settings. Analyses used data from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). The sample consisted of 1577 two- to three-year-old children (M = 33.9 months, SD = 2.93; 51.5 per cent male). Two separate hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relation between teachers' perceptions of their relationships with children and (a) gender; (b) Indigenous status; (c) language background other than English; (d) socioeconomic position; (e) special health-care needs; (f) expression and receptive language concerns; (g) psychosocial competence and problems; and (h) temperament factors (approach, persistence and reactivity). Results indicated that special health-care needs, receptive language concerns and all three temperament scales (approach, persistence and reactivity) significantly predicted conflict in teacher-child relationships. Close relationships were predicted by being female, Indigenous status, higher socioeconomic position, not having a special health-care need and no expressive language concerns. (author abstract)
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