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Bidirectional Longitudinal Associations Between Teacher-Child and Parent-Child Relationship Quality and Children's Academic Competence

Najia Zulfiqar, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to examine the bidirectional longitudinal association between teacher-child and parent-child relationship quality and children’s academic competence. Relationship quality was tested in terms of adults’ perception of closeness and conflict with children in grades 3-5. NICHD SECCYD phase III data from children, teachers, and parents were used. Three models were analyzed using cross-lagged structural equation modeling. The fit indices revealed unacceptable model fit except for the modified teacher-child and parent-child closeness model. Bivariate correlations indicated that relationship closeness and conflict were negatively correlated, and a high level of closeness and a low level of conflict with teachers and parents predicted high academic competence among children. Possibly, teacher-child closeness and conflict were related to parent-child closeness and conflict, respectively. If model fit had been acceptable, finding would have supported autoregressive and most of cross-sectional paths for relationship quality and academic competence in all six models, but not bidirectional associations. In addition, female, White, and high SES children had better academic competence, and experienced more closeness and less conflict with teachers and parents than their counterparts. Last, more educated teachers had closer and less conflictual relationships with children. Future research should (a) include a racially and financially diverse pool of participants, (b) study relationship quality over transition to the middle school, and (c) examine children’s perception of relationship quality with teachers and parents.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Zulfiqar, Najia, "Bidirectional Longitudinal Associations Between Teacher-Child and Parent-Child Relationship Quality and Children's Academic Competence" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10272856.