Shyness and school engagement in Chinese suburban preschoolers: A moderated mediation model of teacher–child closeness and child gender

Yunpeng WU, Min FANG, Jianfen WU, Yingmin CHEN, Hui LI

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Shyness is associated with poorer preschool engagement, but few studies have evaluated the underlying mechanisms in Chinese preschoolers. This study explored the mediating role of teacher–child closeness and the moderating role of child gender in the association between shyness and school engagement to fill this gap. With the cluster sampling method, a total of 532 young children (240 girls; Mage = 4.29 years, SD = 0.65 years) were recruited from 15 suburban kindergartens in East China. Mothers rated children’s shyness, and teachers evaluated children’s school engagement and teacher–child closeness five months later. The results reveal the following: (1) Shyness was related to higher cooperative participation and lower school avoidance; (2) Teacher–child closeness mediated the relationships between shyness and school engagement. Specifically, shyness negatively predicted teacher–child closeness, and teacher–child closeness positively predicted cooperative and independent participations and school liking, and negatively predicted school avoidance; (3) Child gender moderated the relationship between shyness and school engagement, and specifically, for boys but not girls, shyness was significantly linked with lower school avoidance; for girls but not boys, shyness was significantly related to higher cooperative participation and lower independent participation. These findings have implications for the school engagement of preschoolers. Copyright © 2022 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4270
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Citation

Wu, Y., Fang, M., Wu, J., Chen, Y., & Li, H. (2022). Shyness and school engagement in Chinese suburban preschoolers: A moderated mediation model of teacher–child closeness and child gender. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(7), Article 4270. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074270

Keywords

  • Shyness
  • Teacher–child relationship
  • School engagement
  • Child gender
  • Moderated mediation model
  • Preschoolers

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