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Teacher-child relationships: Contribution of teacher and child characteristics

This study investigates potential predictors of teacher-child relationships (i.e., closeness and conflict) focusing on child gender, teacher-child ethnicity match, and teacher education. Additionally, the study explores the possible moderation effect of teacher education on the associations between teacher-child relationships and child gender or teacher-child ethnic match. The participants of this study were 159 preschoolers and their 34 teachers in 20 preschools located in a suburban area in Indiana, USA. Due to the nested structure of the data, hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was employed. The results showed that teacher-child closeness was explained by teacher- and child-level variables, whereas teacher-child conflict was explained mostly by child-level variables. Additionally, boys were found to establish less close relationships with their teachers compared to girls. On average, teachers having a bachelor's degree (BA) showed lower teacher-child closeness compared to teachers without a BA. However, teachers with a BA were more likely to report equitable relationships among children regardless of child gender. Teacher-child ethnic match was not significantly related to either teacher-child closeness or conflict. The article also offers a discussion on the implications of these findings. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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