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Behavioral exchanges between teachers and children over the course of a typical preschool day: Testing bidirectional associations

In the present study, 314 preschool classrooms and 606 children were observed to understand the behavioral exchanges between teachers and children. Teachers emotionally and organizationally supportive behaviors and children's engagement were explored for longitudinal associations throughout a day. Observations were conducted in each classroom wherein emotional and organizational supports were assessed, followed by observations of two children's positive engagement with teachers, tasks, and peers as well as negative classroom engagement. Cross-lagged autoregressive models were used to test for time-lagged associations which, if present, could be unidirectional or bidirectional. Results indicated teachers' emotionally and organizationally supportive behaviors were related to later child engagement in seven of eight models. Furthermore, in two of those seven models, we found evidence of bidirectional associations whereby children's engagement was associated with later teacher emotional and organizational supports. Findings are discussed in terms of understanding classroom processes over the course of a day in preschool. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
California; Connecticut; Illinois; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Rhode Island; Tennessee

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