Task-related interactions between kindergarten children and their teachers: the role of emotional security
Article first published online: 21 JAN 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Infant and Child Development
Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 181–197, March/April 2008
How to Cite
Thijs, J. T. and Koomen, H. M. Y. (2008), Task-related interactions between kindergarten children and their teachers: the role of emotional security. Inf. Child Develop., 17: 181–197. doi: 10.1002/icd.552
- Issue published online: 26 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 21 JAN 2008
- Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Grant Number: 41103011
- emotional security;
- social inhibition;
- teachers' support;
- task behaviours
This study examined the emotional security of kindergarten children in dyadic task-related interactions with their teachers. In particular, it examined the interrelations between security, task behaviours (persistence and independence), social inhibition, and teachers' support. Participants were 79 kindergartners (mean age=69.7 months) and their 40 regular teachers. Children were selected to approach a normal distribution of social inhibition. Children and teachers were filmed during a dyadic interaction task outside the classroom. Three groups of independent observers rated children's emotional security and their task behaviours, as well as teachers' supportive behaviours. Multilevel modelling revealed a positive link between teachers' support and emotional security. This link suppressed a negative relation between social inhibition and emotional security. In addition, emotional security was positively associated with children's task behaviours and mediated part of the positive link between these behaviours and teachers' support. Finally, security moderated the relation between support and persistence, such that the effect of teachers' support on persistent behaviours was amplified for relatively insecure children. These results highlight the importance of considering emotional security when examining the interactions between kindergarten children and their teachers. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.