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Dev Psychol. 1998 Sep;34(5):934-46.

Children's interpersonal behaviors and the teacher-child relationship.

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  • 1Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign 61820, USA.


Relations between kindergartners' (N = 199; M age = 5 years 6 months) behavioral orientations and features of their 1st-grade teacher-child relationships (i.e., conflict, closeness, dependency) were examined longitudinally. Early behavioral orientations predicted teacher-child relationship quality in that (a) unique associations emerged between children's early antisocial behavior and features of their 1st-grade teacher-child relationships (i.e., negative relation with closeness, positive relation with conflict and dependency) and between asocial behavior and teacher-child dependency, and (b) prosocial behavior was correlated with but not uniquely related to any feature of children's 1st-grade teacher-child relationships. In addition, specific features of the teacher-child relationship (e.g., conflict) predicted changes in children's behavioral adjustment (e.g., decreasing prosocial behavior).

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