Children’s drawings of student-teacher relationship quality: examining change over the first year of school.

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Abstract

The relationships students form with their teachers are critical to children's early school adjustment and later school success. While previous research has relied on teachers' single-point ratings of student-teacher relationship (STR) quality, this study included data provided by children and teachers at two time-points in the kindergarten year. Children's drawings of themselves and their teacher were coded using Fury, Carlson, and Sroufe's (1997) attachment-based scoring of Relational Negativity. Children's feelings about their teacher were rated on the School Feelings Questionnaire (Bowes et al., 2009). Teachers completed the Student Teacher Relationship Scale (Pianta, 2001) and Teacher Rating Scale of School Adjustment (Birch & Ladd, 1997). Results showed that Relational Negativity at the start of school aligned with teachers' STR ratings, but by the end of the year, children's and teachers' ratings had diverged. Children were twice as likely as teachers to express increased negativity. Possible explanations for different perceptions of STR are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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