Teacher–Student Relationships as Compensatory Resources for Aggressive Children

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Abstract

This 2-year prospective investigation examined the association between the quality of teacher–student relationships and children's levels of aggression in a sample of 140 second- and third-grade aggressive children (M age=8.18). Consistent with the proposed dual-risk compensatory hypothesis, positive teacher–student relationships were more beneficial for aggressive African American and Hispanic children than for aggressive Caucasian children. Data did not support a moderating effect of negative parent–child relationship quality on the association between supportive teacher–student relationships and aggression. Findings underscore the importance of recruiting and preparing teachers capable of establishing supportive relationships with aggressive African American and Hispanic children. Results also suggest the need for multiple reporters of relationship quality in future research.

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