Parent-child relationships as predictors of change in teacher-child relationships and school connectedness during early adolescence

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Title: Parent-child relationships as predictors of change in teacher-child relationships and school connectedness during early adolescence
Author: Falkenstein, Corrina A., 1976-
Abstract: Past research demonstrates the importance of parent-child relationships, teacher-child relationships, and school connectedness on the emotional, behavioral and academic outcomes of youth. Some studies report declining levels of parent-child, teacher-child bonds and school connectedness during early adolescence, while other research suggests little change or that change may be contingent on gender and ethnic differences. Of the few studies that have examined variation in youths' relationships with their parents, teachers, and school connectedness during early adolescence, many have relied on cross-sectional data collection methods. No published research has examined the interconnection between the parent-child relationship, teacher-child relationship and school connectedness utilizing a latent growth modeling (LGM) approach. This dissertation study tested the growth patterns of youths' 1) relationships with parents, 2) relationships with teachers and 3) school connectedness over the course of middle school. Next, the relationships between growth models were tested to determine whether changes in parent-child relationship quality influenced youths' declining perceptions of teacher-child relationships and school connectedness. Differences in model fit by gender and ethnicity were also tested. Study participants included 592 ethnically diverse youth recruited in their first year of middle school (6th grade). These participants were assessed again in i h grade (n = 524), and 8th grade (n = 467). The sample included a similar number of males (n = 305) and females (n = 288) and a greater number of students of color (n = 378), in comparison to European American students (n = 214). Results from LGM analysis showed the sample as a whole reported declining levels of parent-child, teacher-child and school connectedness over the course of middle school; however, the decline in school connectedness was not significant for students of color. The decline in parent-child relationship quality was associated with l) reductions in youths' commitment to learning, especially for European American students, 2) declines in youths' reported perception of their teachers, regardless of gender or ethnicity and 3) decreased school connectedness, especially for male students. Parent-child relationship quality in 6th grade also predicted the decline in youths' school connectedness and teacher-child relationship quality from 6th to 8th grade.
Description: xii, 94 p. : ill. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/11151
Date: 2010-09


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