This study investigated bidirectional links between the quality of teacher–child relationships and children’s interest and pre-academic skills in literacy and math. Furthermore, differences in the patterns of bidirectionality between boys and girls were explored. Participants were 461 Finnish kindergarteners (6-year-olds) and their teachers (n = 48). Teachers reported their closeness and conflict with each child twice throughout the kindergarten year. Children rated their interest in literacy and math, and were tested on their pre-academic skills. Cross-lagged path models indicated that teacher-perceived conflict predicted lower interest and pre-academic skills in both literacy and math. Results were similar for boys and girls. Implications for reducing conflictual patterns of relationships, together with promoting other factors, are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology