Teacher Support, Peer Acceptance, and Engagement in the Classroom: A Three-Wave Longitudinal Study in Late Childhood
Although research has examined the bivariate effects of teacher support, peer acceptance, and engagement, it remains unclear how these key classroom experiences evolve together, especially in late childhood. This study aims to provide a detailed picture of their transactional relations in late childhood. A sample of 586 children (M age = 9.26 years, 47.1% boys) was followed from fourth to sixth grade. Teacher support and engagement were student-reported and peer acceptance was peer-reported. Autoregressive cross-lagged models revealed unique longitudinal effects of both peer acceptance and teacher support on engagement, and of peer acceptance on teacher support. No reverse effects of engagement on peer acceptance or teacher support were found. The study underscores the importance of examining the relative contribution of several social actors in the classroom. Regarding interventions, improving both peer acceptance and teacher support can increase children’s engagement, and augmenting peer acceptance can help to increase teacher support.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-017-0774-5
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