Developmental trajectories of teacher-student relationships and longitudinal associations with children's conduct problems from Grades 1 to 12
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This study examined the development and continuity of teacher-student relationship quality across the formal schooling years (Grades 1 to 12) and investigated how variations (i.e., differential trajectories) in teacher-student relationship quality were longitudinally associated with children's conduct problems across childhood and adolescence. Participants consisted of 784 students (Mage = 6.57 in Grade 1; 47% girls, 37.4% Latino or Hispanic, 34.1% European American, and 23.2% African American) who were identified as being academically at risk (i.e., had low literacy scores at school entry). Distinct subgroups of children were identified based on variations in their teacher-student warmth and conflict trajectories, and patterns of continuity and change were also assessed across the transition to middle school. The findings provided insights into how the duration, magnitude, and timing of teacher-student relationship quality were associated with children's conduct problems. More specifically, relationships characterized by early-onset deficits, chronic and persistent relationship difficulties, or adolescent-onset conflict were associated with distinct patterns of conduct problems throughout childhood and adolescence.
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