Teacher-Child Interactions and Preschool Children's Perceptions of Self and Peers

Malinda J. Colwell, Eric W. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This study examined connections between teacher-child interaction and children's perceptions of self and peers. Forty-seven predominately white, middle-class preschoolers (twenty-seven boys, twenty girls; forty European-American, two Hispanic, two African-American, three Asian) were observed during indoor and outdoor activity at their preschool over a period of four months. Children's time spent interacting with teachers, as well as children's cooperative behavior, emotional expressions, and aggression toward teachers was assessed. In addition, children participated in interviews designed to assess their self-perceptions and perceptions of peers. Results revealed that girls spent more time interacting with teachers than boys, and had more cooperative and positive interactions with teachers than did boys. Correlation analyses indicated that the quality of teacher-child interaction was differentially linked to boys' and girls' self-perceptions and perceptions of peers. The implications of interactions between teacher and child for children's cognitions about self and others are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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