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J Sch Psychol. 2013 Dec;51(6):701-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2013.08.002. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Temperament in early childhood and peer interactions in third grade: the role of teacher-child relationships in early elementary grades.

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. Electronic address:


Children's interactions with peers in early childhood have been consistently linked to their academic and social outcomes. Although both child and classroom characteristics have been implicated as contributors to children's success, there has been scant research linking child temperament, teacher-child relationship quality, and peer interactions in the same study. The purpose of this study is to examine children's early temperament, rated at preschool age, as a predictor of interactions with peers (i.e., aggression, relational aggression, victimization, and prosociality) in third grade while considering teacher-child relationship quality in kindergarten through second grades as a moderator and mediator of this association. The sample (N=1364) was drawn from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Results from structural equation models indicated that teacher-child conflict in early elementary grades mediated links between children's temperament and later peer interactions. Findings underscore the importance of considering children's temperament traits and teacher-child relationship quality when examining the mechanisms of the development of peer interactions.


Peer interactions; Structural equation modeling; Teacher–child relationships; Temperament

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