Behavior problems in elementary school among low-income boys: The role of teacher–child relationships

Brian Andrew Collins, Erin Eileen O'Connor, Lauren Supplee, Daniel S. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The authors identified trajectories of teacher–child relationship conflict and closeness from Grades 1 to 6, and associations between these trajectories and externalizing and internalizing behaviors at 11 years old among low-income, urban boys (N = 262). There were three main findings. Nagin cluster analyses indicated five trajectories for conflict with all children evidencing increases in conflict, and four trajectories for closeness with all children demonstrating decreases in closeness. Trajectories with higher levels of conflict and lower levels of closeness were associated with higher levels of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems at 11 years old. Moreover, conflictual teacher–child relationships exacerbated the effects of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in early childhood; children with conflictual teacher–child relationships had higher levels of behavior problems in middle childhood relative to children with low conflictual teacher–child relationships. Implications of targeting teacher–child relationships as interventions to help prevent behavior problems are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-84
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Keywords

  • At-risk
  • developmental trajectories
  • externalizing behaviors
  • internalizing behaviors
  • teacher–child relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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