Abstract—This longitudinal study aimed to identify child,
socio-demographic, family, and relationship factors associated
with children’s teacher relationship quality trajectories over the
transition from preschool into school. A community sample of
636 Australian children were assessed in preschool, the first
year, and second year of formal schooling. Teachers at all three
assessments reported on child-teacher relationship quality. At
preschool, teachers and parents reported on children’s mental
health difficulties and prosocial skills, and parents reported on
family socio-demographic characteristics, stress, parenting
styles, and parent-teacher relationships. Findings from
latent-class growth modeling identified a 1) stable-high and 2) a
moderate/declining child-teacher relationship trajectory.
Logistic regressions found the strongest predictor of belonging
to the moderate/declining relationship trajectory was the
presence of teacher-rated preschool mental health difficulties.
Children exposed to hostile-ineffective parenting were also
more likely to experience a moderate/declining trajectory,
whereas girls and children with more prosocial skills at
preschool were less likely to have a moderate/declining
trajectory. For children considered at-risk at preschool due to
early mental health difficulties, prosocial skills and parental
warmth appeared to protect them from the moderate/declining
child-teacher relationship trajectory. Findings suggest that
early-interventions focusing on fostering prosocial skills and
positive parenting styles may help improve child-teacher
relationships over time.
Index Terms—Child-teacher relationship trajectories, prosocial skills, mental health, family characteristics, young children.
Lauren R. Miller-Lewis and Michael G. Sawyer are with the Discipline of Paediatrics, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide; and the Research and Evaluation Unit, Women‟s and Children‟s Health Network, Australia (e-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Alyssa C. P. Sawyer is with the Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health, University of Adelaide, Australia (e-mail: email@example.com).
Amelia K. Searle is with the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, School of Population Health, University of Adelaide, Australia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Lauren R. Miller-Lewis, Alyssa C. P. Sawyer, Amelia K. Searle, and Michael G. Sawyer, "Child and Family Predictors of Child-Teacher Relationship Trajectories during the Transition from Preschool to School," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 235-243, 2014.