Drawing from a diverse community sample of 89 children, ages 4–6, their primary caregivers and teachers, this study examined the interplay of child emotional behavior problems, parent emotion socialization practices, and gender in predicting teacher-child closeness. Teachers reported on perceptions of closeness with children. Parents and teachers reported on children’s emotional behavior problems, as indexed by overanxious behavior, overt, and relational aggression. Regression models revealed that higher relational aggression related to closer teacher-child relationships for all children of parents who employed minimization as an emotion socialization practice. Similarly, higher overt aggression related to closer teacher-child relationships for girls who experienced parent minimization. An analogous pattern of results emerged, such that lower parent emotional support buffered girls against the negative effects of higher relational aggression on teacher-child closeness, whereas higher parent emotional support related to lower levels of closeness for these girls. These findings contradict prior research linking supportive emotion socialization practices (e.g., empathy, comforting) to socioemotional competence and unsupportive practices (e.g., minimization, punishment) to poor school adjustment. Practice or Policy: Findings have implications for improving children’s classroom experience by identifying parent emotion socialization and gender as contexts for understanding child emotional behavior problems in relation to teacher-child closeness.
Emotional behavior problems, parent emotion socialization and gender as determinants of teacher-child closeness
Year of Publication:2017
Publication:Early Education and Development
(2017). Emotional behavior problems, parent emotion socialization and gender as determinants of teacher-child closeness. Early Education and Development.