The purpose of the present study was to examine factors associated with the quality of the teacher-child relationship from first through fifth grade using data from phases I, II and III of the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a prospective study of 1364 children from birth through sixth grade. On average, children evidenced moderately high quality relationships with teachers in fifth grade. However, there was extensive variation in fifth grade relationship quality across children. Children who received more support and stimulation at home and whose parents had higher quality interactions with the school had higher quality relationships. Additionally, children in classrooms with more positive environments and better management had higher quality relationships. Lastly, females, European-American children, children with lower levels of behavior problems and children who had higher quality relationships with their teachers in kindergarten also had higher quality relationships with teachers. On average, children evidenced decreases in the quality of their relationships with teachers from first through fifth grade. Interestingly, children whose parents had more contact with their schools, who were in schools where teachers received higher salaries and in classrooms that had more positive emotional climates and that were better managed evidenced slower rates of decline in relationship quality. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
- Contextual systems model
- Elementary school
- Teacher-child relationships
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology