Linking social-emotional competence to behavioral and academic adjustment among Chinese kindergarten children: A multilevel approach

Chun Bun Ian LAM, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, Chung Sze LAM, Xiaomin LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Research Findings: This cross-sectional study examined the class- and child-level associations of social-emotional competence with behavioral and academic adjustment among Chinese kindergarten children and tested teacher collectivistic socialization goals as a moderator. Participants were 523 kindergarten children and their mothers and class teachers from Hong Kong, China. The mean age of children was 4.37 years (SD = 0.60), and 53% of them were boys. Using paper-and-pencil questionnaires, class teachers rated children’s social-emotional competence and their own socialization goals, and mothers rated children’s externalizing behaviors and school readiness and provided demographic information. Also, in structured interviews, children completed a Chinese word reading test. Multilevel models indicated that, controlling for child gender and age, mother age and education, and teacher experience of teaching, the class average of child social-emotional competence – which indicated the overall social-emotional climate of the classroom – was linked negatively to child externalizing behaviors and positively to child school readiness and Chinese word reading ability. Moreover, children who scored higher on social-emotional competence – compared to their own class average (i.e., their everyday companions) – scored lower on externalizing behaviors and higher on school readiness. There was no evidence of the moderating role of teacher socialization goals, however. Practice or Policy: Findings pointed to the utility of using class-wide initiatives to promote the overall classroom climate and using child-specific activities to promote individual social-emotional development. Copyright © 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Education and Development
Early online date23 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Sep 2021

Citation

Lam, C. B., Chung, K. K. H., Lam, C. S., & Li, X. (2021). Linking social-emotional competence to behavioral and academic adjustment among Chinese kindergarten children: A multilevel approach. Early Education and Development. Advance online publication. doi: /10.1080/10409289.2021.1979836

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Linking social-emotional competence to behavioral and academic adjustment among Chinese kindergarten children: A multilevel approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.