Teacher–child relationships and social competence: A two-year longitudinal study of Chinese preschoolers

Xiao ZHANG, Jari-Erik NURMI

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Abstract

Based on a two-year and three-wave longitudinal sample of 118 Chinese preschoolers, the present study examined the cross-lagged associations between teacher–child relationships and social competence, and the cross-system generalization of social competence between home and school. At each of the three waves, teachers rated the children's teacher–child relationships and social competence in school, and mothers rated the children's social competence at home. The results showed that high closeness and low conflict in teacher–child relationships at three months after preschool entry (T1) predicted children's social competence in school at the end of the first preschool year (T2). T1 teacher–child closeness also predicted social competence at home at the end of the second preschool year (T3). Although early home competence did not predict later school competence, T2 school competence was associated with T3 home competence. Finally, T2 school competence fully mediated the path from T1 teacher–child closeness to T3 home competence. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-135
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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Mental Competency
Longitudinal Studies
Social Skills
Mothers

Citation

Zhang, X., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2012). Teacher–child relationships and social competence: A two-year longitudinal study of Chinese preschoolers. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 33(3), 125-135.

Keywords

  • Teacher–child relationships
  • Social competence
  • Cross-system generalization
  • Home
  • School
  • Chinese children