Publications of O'Connor, Erin

Teacher-child relationships in prekindergarten: The influences of child and teacher characteristics

The purpose of the current study was to investigate child and teacher characteristics associated with closeness and conflict in prekindergarten teacher–child relationships. Child gender and temperament were significantly associated with closeness and conflict. Specifically, higher levels of shyness correlated with closer relationships for boys than for girls. Additionally, higher levels of child anger were associated with more conflicted relationships for boys and less conflicted relationships for girls. An association was also found between frequency of teacher–child interactions and relationship conflict. Children who had more interactions with teachers had more conflicted relationships. Implications for teacher education and professional development are discussed.