Bidirectional Associations between Behavior Problems and Teacher-Child Relationship Quality in Chinese American Immigrant Children
- Author(s): Ly, Jennifer
- Advisor(s): Zhou, Qing
- et al.
This study examined the prospective associations between behavior problems and teacher-child relationship quality (TCRQ) in a socio-economically diverse sample of Chinese American first- and second-grade children in immigrant families (N = 258). Externalizing and internalizing problems were assessed using parents' and teachers' ratings. Teachers completed a questionnaire measuring TCRQ dimensions of Warmth and Conflict and children completed a questionnaire measuring Closeness. Path analyses were conducted to examine the bidirectional associations between behavior problems and TCRQ, controlling for baseline levels and demographic characteristics. Results indicated that teacher-rated externalizing problems negatively predicted child-rated Closeness, teacher-rated internalizing problems negatively predicted teacher-rated Conflict, and parent-rated internalizing problems negatively predicted teacher-rated Warmth. Although teacher-rated TCRQ did not significantly predict teacher-rated behavior problems, teacher-rated Conflict positively predicted parent-rated externalizing problems. Unexpectedly, child-rated Closeness also positively predicted parent-rated externalizing problems. These findings highlight the importance of assessing TCRQ and children's behavior problems using multiple reporters. The present study also provides support for the transactional relationship between children's behavior problems and TCRQ. Recommendations for school-based interventions with Chinese American children in immigrant families are discussed.