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The interplay among early childhood teachers' social and emotional well-being, mental health consultation, and preschool expulsion

The present study examines the associations between various elements of a teacher's social-emotional well-being and context and her requests for the permanent removal of a child from her classroom. Specifically, the current study explores teachers' perceptions of their emotional intelligence, levels of depression, classroom-level externalizing behaviors, and center climate. Using self-report survey data from teachers at community-based preschools in a large Midwestern city (N = 124), logistic regressions predicting teachers' expulsion requests shed light on associated factors. Findings indicate that teachers with greater levels of depression are more likely to request that a child be expelled from their care but that this association is attenuated by their centers' utilization of infant/early childhood mental health consultation services. Teacher-reported emotional intelligence, perceptions of their students' externalizing behaviors, and center climate were not significantly associated with expulsion requests. Practice or Policy: This study contributes to our growing understanding of two pressing issues in early childhood education: teacher well-being and exclusionary discipline. Findings suggest that attending to teacher mental health and early childhood mental health consultants may be important in reducing rates of exclusionary discipline in early education settings. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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