Linking school- and classroom-level characteristics to child adjustment: A representative study of children from Hong Kong, China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Background: The school is one of the most salient developmental contexts for children. However, little is known about the associations linking the school environment to child adjustment in a non-Western context, not to mention the potential processes that may mediate these associations. 

Aims: This study examined the associations of school- and classroom-level characteristics with child adjustment and tested whether these associations were mediated by teacher–child relationship qualities. 

Sample: Cross-sectional data were collected on a representative sample of 1777 children (mean age = 55.14 months; 50% of them were girls) from 100 kindergartens in Hong Kong, China. 

Methods: Using self-reported questionnaires, teachers rated their school-level environments, their classroom chaos, their closeness and conflict with children and children's socioemotional competence and academic ability. Meanwhile, parents rated children's behavioural problems. 

Results: Multilevel structural equation modelling revealed that the school-level environment and classroom chaos were uniquely associated with children's socioemotional, behavioural and academic adjustment. Moreover, the associations of the school-level environment and classroom chaos with child socioemotional and academic adjustment were mediated by teacher–child closeness and conflict, whereas the associations of the school-level environment and classroom chaos with child behavioural problems were mediated by teacher–child conflict only. 

Conclusions: Findings indicated how school- and classroom-level characteristics may be uniquely associated with child adjustment and how teacher–child relationships may be implicated in the underlying mechanism, highlighting the potential utility of targeting school- and classroom-level environments and teacher–child relationships in promoting child development. Copyright © 2024 British Psychological Society.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2024

Citation

Li, X., Lam, C. B., & Chung, K. K. H. (2024). Linking school- and classroom-level characteristics to child adjustment: A representative study of children from Hong Kong, China. British Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12672

Keywords

  • Child adjustment
  • Chinese children
  • Classroom chaos
  • School characteristics
  • Teacher–child relationships

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Linking school- and classroom-level characteristics to child adjustment: A representative study of children from Hong Kong, China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.