Volume 38, Issue 1 (2009)
Widening the View on Teacher-Child Relationships: Teachers' Narratives Concerning Disruptive Versus Nondisruptive Children
Jantine K. Spilt, Helma M.Y. Koomen
Abstract. The goal of the present study was to obtain evidence for the validity of the Teacher Relationship Interview by exploring associations with a well-validated measure of teacher– child relationship quality, the Student–Teacher Relationship Scale (Closeness, Conflict, and Dependency), and examining differences between teachers’ narratives about the relationship with a disruptive and a nondisruptive child in their class. Six constructs were derived from teachers’ narratives (N = 90) that were elicited with the Teacher Relationship Interview: sensitive practices, positive affect, helplessness, anger, neutralizing negative affect, and coherence. Multilevel analyses showed moderate convergence between the Student–Teacher Relationship Scale and the Teacher Relationship Interview. Expressed anger was related to relational conflict, whereas positive affect and low levels of helplessness appeared associated with close relationships. The coherence of the narrative and the tendency to neutralize negative emotions were positively associated with conflict. No unique associations were found with teachers’ narrated sensitive practices. Furthermore, anger and helplessness appeared more prominent in narratives about relationships with disruptive children.
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