A subset of extant data (N = 423) from the Family Life Project, a population-based study of Black and White families with low incomes from rural communities, were used to test for associations between teacher depressive symptoms and children’s cognitive outcomes at 36 months. A second aim tested whether early care and education (ECE) quality mediated such relations. Results indicated that although the associations were in the expected negative direction, teacher depressive symptoms were not directly significantly related to any child cognitive outcome. However, relations were completely mediated by indirect pathways with ECE quality, meaning that teacher depressive symptoms affected child cognitive outcomes entirely via decreases in ECE quality (ES = − 0.04), particularly for receptive vocabulary. Implications for teacher mental health and psychological wellbeing as well as ECE quality in rural communities are discussed.
- Early care and education (ECE)
- ECE quality
- Family Life Project
- Rural communities
- Teacher depressive symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology