Social-emotional Classroom Climate in Child Care, Child-Teacher Relationships and Children’s Second Grade Peer Relations



We used a five-year longitudinal study of children’s teacher-child relationships and social-emotional competence to examine the relative contributions of preschool social-emotional climate and early individual child-teacher relationships and behavior problems in predicting second grade social competence with peers. Three hundred and seven children (152 girls) had complete second grade data on peer social competence. We used the Peer Play Scale to measure the climate of peer social competence in preschool classrooms. We used the Classroom Behavior Inventory to measure behavior problems and the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale to measure child-teacher relationship quality at both the classroom and individual level. Children’s second grade social competence with peers could be predicted by preschool classroom social-emotional climate, four-year-old behavior problems and child-teacher relationship quality, and contemporary child-teacher relationship quality. The particular pattern of these predictors differed by aspect of social competence with peers.