The present study examined whether teacher–child closeness and conflict across kindergarten and first grade varied by gender and disruptive behavior at kindergarten entry within a sample of 324 predominantly Black children from low-income, urban households. Three main findings emerged from the analyses. First, contrary to findings from previous work that revealed stability in closeness and conflict across the first few years of elementary school, this study identified significant changes in closeness across the kindergarten and first grade years. Second, girls experienced more closeness with teachers than boys across both kindergarten and first grade, and the rate of change in teacher–child closeness differed by child gender across time. Finally, across both school years, associations between gender and teacher–child conflict varied by level of disruptive behavior at the beginning of kindergarten, such that boys with high levels of disruptive behavior experienced more overall conflict with teachers than girls with high levels of disruptive behavior.
- Developmental trajectories
- Disruptive behavior
- Early elementary school
- Teacher–child relationships
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science