Associations Between Parent–Teacher Cocaring Relationships, Parent–Child Relationships, and Young Children’s Social Emotional Development

Abstract

Background

Understanding the correlates of young children’s social emotional development is important to optimally support children’s long-term success.

Objective

This study examined the associations among dimensions of parent–teacher cocaring relationships, infants’ and toddlers’ social emotional adjustment, and parent–child closeness and conflict.

Method

Our sample consisted of 90 families utilizing full-time, center-based childcare for their 12–36 month old child, about a fourth of whom received subsidized childcare. Parents completed a set of questionnaires about themselves, their cocaring relationship with a particular classroom teacher, their relationship with their child, and the child’s social emotional functioning.

Results

After controlling for children’s age, parents’ race and education, and childcare subsidy receipt, HLM analyses revealed significant associations. After accounting for parent–child relationship quality, parents’ perceptions of cocaring endorsement were positively associated with child competence, and perceptions of cocaring undermining were positively associated with children’s dysregulation. In addition, reported cocaring endorsement demonstrated a marginal negative association with parent–child conflict. Parent–child conflict was significantly associated with all forms of children’s social emotional functioning, while parent–child closeness was only associated with child competence.

Conclusions

Findings highlight the importance of adult-relationships in children’s early social emotional development, with an emphasis on the cocaring relationship as a bridge between home and child care contexts, and the utility of the cocaring framework as a guide for examination of and reflection on the processes underlying parent–teacher relationships.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Baker, J., McHale, J., Strozier, A., & Cecil, D. (2010). Mother–grandmother coparenting relationships in families with incarcerated mothers: A pilot investigation. Family Process,49(2), 165–184. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01316.x.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Ben-Sasson, A., Carter, A. S., & Briggs-Gowan, M. J. (2008). Sensory over-responsively in elementary school: Prevalence and social-emotional correlates. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-008-9295-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bradley, R. H. (2010). From home to day care: Chaos in the family/child-care mesosystem. In G. W. Evans & T. D. Wachs (Eds.), Chaos and its influence on children’s development: An ecological perspective. Decade of behavior (science conference) (pp. 135–153). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/12057-009.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Briggs-Gowan, M. J., Carter, A. S., Bosson-Heenan, J., Guyer, A. E., & Horwitz, S. M. (2006). Are infant-toddler social-emotional and behavior problems transient? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,45(7), 849–858. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.chi.0000220849.48650.59.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives. Developmental Psychology,22, 723–742.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 1: Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 793–828). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Caldera, Y. M., & Lindsey, E. W. (2006). Coparenting, mother-infant interactions, and infant-parent attachment relationships in two-parent families. Journal of Family Psychology,20(2), 275–283. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.20.2.275.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Carter, A. S., & Briggs-Gowan, M. J. (2006). ITSEA infant-toddler social and emotional assessment-examiner’s manual. San Antonio, TX: Pearson.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Carter, A. S., Briggs-Gowan, M. J., Jones, S. M., & Little, T. D. (2003). The Infant Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA): Factor structure, reliability, and validity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology,31(5), 495–514.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Child Care Aware of America. (2018). Child care in America 2018 state fact sheets. Arlington, VA: Child Care Aware of America. Retrieved from: https://usa.childcareaware.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2018-state-fact-sheets.pdf.

  11. Collins, W. A., & Laursen, B. (Eds.). (1999). Relationships as developmental contexts: Vol. 30: Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Cook, J. C., Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Buckley, C. K., & Davis, E. F. (2009). Are some children harder to coparent than others? Children’s negative emotionality and coparenting relationship quality. Journal of Family Psychology,23(4), 606–610. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015992.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. Davidov, M., & Grusec, J. E. (2006). Untangling the links of parental responsiveness to distress and warmth to child outcomes. Child Development,77, 44–58. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00855.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Driscoll, K., & Pianta, R. C. (2011). Mothers’ and fathers’ perceptions of conflict and closeness in parent–child relationships during early childhood. Journal of Early Childhood & Infant Psychology,7, 1–24.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Elicker, J., Noppe, I. C., Noppe, L. D., & Fortner-Wood, C. (1997). The Parent–Caregiver Relationship Scale: Rounding out the relationship system in infant child care. Early Education and Development,8(1), 83–100. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15566935eed0801_7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Elicker, J., Wen, X., Kwon, K.-A., & Sprague, J. B. (2013). Early head start relationships: Association with program outcomes. Early Education and Development,24(4), 491–516. https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2012.695519.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Feinberg, M. E. (2002). Coparenting and the transition to parenthood: A framework for prevention. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review,5(3), 173–195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Feinberg, M. E. (2003). The internal structure and ecological context of coparenting: A framework for research and intervention. Parenting: Science and Practice,3, 95–132.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Feinberg, M. E., Brown, L. D., & Kan, M. L. (2012). A multi-domain self-report measure of coparenting. Parenting: Science and Practice,12(1), 1–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Feinberg, M. E., & Kan, M. L. (2008). Establishing family foundations: Intervention effects on coparenting, parent/infant well-being, and parent-child relations. Journal of Family Psychology,22(2), 253–263. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.22.2.253.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  21. Ford, J. K., MacCallum, R. C., & Tait, M. (1986). The application of exploratory factor analysis in applied psychology: A critical review and analysis. Personnel Psychology, 39(2), 291–314.

  22. Hale-Jinks, C., Knopf, H., & Knopf, H. (2006). Tackling teacher turnover in child care: Understanding causes and consequences, identifying solutions. Childhood Education,82(4), 219–226.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2001). Early teacher–child relationships and the trajectory of children’s school outcomes through eighth grade. Child Development,72, 625–638. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00301.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Haney, M., & Bissonnette, V. (2011). Teachers’ perceptions about the use of play to facilitate development and teach prosocial skills. Creative Education,2, 41–46. https://doi.org/10.4236/ce.2011.21006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Horwitz, S. M., Hurlburt, M. S., Heneghan, A., Zhang, J., Rolls-Reutz, J., Landsverk, J., et al. (2013). Persistence of mental health problems in very young children investigated by US Child Welfare Agencies. Academic Pediatrics,13(6), 524–530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2013.06.001.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Howes, C., Hamilton, C. E., & Phillipsen, L. C. (1998). Stability and continuity of child-caregiver and child-peer relationships. Child Development,69(2), 418–426.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Howes, C., & Smith, E. W. (1995). Relationships among child care quality, teacher behavior, children’s play activities, emotional security, and cognitive activity in child care. Early Cliildhood Research Quarterly,10(4), 381–404.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Hughes, J., & Kwok, O. (2007). Influence of student-teacher and parent–teacher relationships on lower achieving readers’ engagement and achievement in the primary grades. Journal of Educational Psychology,99(1), 39–51. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.99.1.39.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. Karreman, A., van Tuijl, C., van Aken, M. A. G., & Deković, M. (2009). Parenting, coparenting, and effortful control in preschoolers. Journal of Family Psychology,22(1), 30–40. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.22.1.30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Landry, S. H., & Smith, K. E. (2010). Early social and cognitive precursors and parental support for self-regulation and executive function: Relations from early childhood into adolescence. In B. W. Sokol, U. Muller, J. I. M. Carpendale, A. R. Young, & G. Iarocci (Eds.), Self and social regulation: Social interaction and the development of social understanding and executive functions (pp. 385–418). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Landry, S. H., Smith, K. E., Swank, P. R., Assel, M. A., & Vellet, S. (2001). Does early responsive parenting have a special importance for children’s development or is consistency across early childhood necessary? Developmental Psychology,37(3), 387–403. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.37.3.387.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Lang, S. N., Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., & Jeon, L. (2017). Examining a self-report measure of parent–teacher cocaring relationships and associations with parental involvement. Early Education and Development, 28(1), 96–114. https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2016.1195672.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Lang, S. N., Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Kotila, L. E., Feng, X., Dush, C. M., & Johnson, S. C. (2014). Relations between fathers’ and mothers’ infant engagement patterns in dual-earner families and toddler competence. Journal of Family Issues, 35(8), 1107–1127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Lang, S. N., Tolbert, A. R., Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., & Bonomi, A. E. (2016). A cocaring framework for infants and toddlers: Applying a model of coparenting to parent–teacher relationships. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34, 40–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Lareau, A. (2011). Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family life (2nd ed.)., with an update a decade later Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Love, J. M., Kisker, E. E., Ross, C., Raikes, H., Constantine, J., Boller, K., et al. (2005). The effectiveness of Early Head Start for 3-year-old children and their parents: Lessons for policy and programs. Developmental Psychology,41(6), 885–901. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.41.6.885.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Maras, E. Q., Lang, S. N., & Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J. (2018). An observational assessment of parent–teacher cocaring relationships in infant–toddler classrooms. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 26(2), 212–228.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. McGrath, W. H. (2007). Ambivalent partners: Power, trust and the partnership in relationships between mothers and teachers in a full-time child care center. Teachers College Record,109(6), 1401–1422.

    Google Scholar 

  39. McHale, J. P. (2011). Coparenting in diverse family systems. In J. P. McHale & K. M. Lindahl (Eds.), Coparenting: A conceptual and clinical examination of family systems (pp. 15–37). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/12328-001.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Minuchin, P. (1985). Families and individual development: Provocations from the field of family therapy. Child Development,56(2), 289–302.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Morrell, J., & Murray, L. (2003). Parenting and the development of conduct disorder and hyperactive symptoms in childhood: A prospective longitudinal study from 2 to 8 years. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,44(4), 489–508. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.t01-1-00139.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Nzinga-Johnson, S., Baker, Jean A., & Aupperlee, J. (2009). Teacher–parent relationships and school involvement among racially and educationally diverse parents of kindergartners. The Elementary School Journal,110(1), 81–91. https://doi.org/10.1086/598844.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Odom, S. L., McConnell, S. R., & Brown, W. H. (2008). Social competence of young children: Conceptualization, assessment, and influences. In W. H. Brown, S. L. Odom, & S. R. McConnell (Eds.), Social competence of young children: Risk, disability, and intervention (pp. 3–29). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Pianta, R. C. (1998). Child-Parent Relationship Scale, Short Form. Unpublished manuscript.

  45. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Application anddata analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage.

  46. Richardson, E. W., & Futris, T. G. (2019). Foster caregivers’ marital and coparenting relationship experiences: A dyadic perspective. Family Relations,68(2), 185–196. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12354.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Shaw, D. S., Owens, E. B., Giovannelli, J., & Winslow, E. B. (2001). Infant and toddler pathways leading to externalizing disorders. Journal of American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,40(1), 36–43. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200101000-00014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Sheridan, S. M., Knoche, L. L., & Edwards, C. P. (2010). Parent engagement and school readiness: Effects of the Getting Ready intervention on preschool children’s social-emotional competencies. Early Education and Development,21(1), 125–156. https://doi.org/10.1080/10409280902783517.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  49. Shonkoff, J. P., Phillips, D. A., & National Research Council (U.S.). (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early child development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Teubert, D., & Pinquart, M. (2010). The association between coparenting and child adjustment: A meta-analysis. Parenting: Science and Practice,10, 286–307.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. U.S. Census Bureau. (2017). Selected economic characteristics, 20132017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF.

  52. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (2018). Head start parent, family, and community engagement framework.

  53. West, S. G., Finch, J. F., & Curran, P. J. (1995). Structural equation models with nonnormal variables: Problems and remedies. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues and applications (pp. 56–75). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Zanolli, K. M., Paden, P., & Cox, K. (1997). Teaching prosocial behavior to typically developing toddlers. Journal of Behavioral Education,7, 373–391. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022883807927.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sarah N. Lang.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lang, S.N., Jeon, L., Schoppe-Sullivan, S.J. et al. Associations Between Parent–Teacher Cocaring Relationships, Parent–Child Relationships, and Young Children’s Social Emotional Development. Child Youth Care Forum 49, 623–646 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-020-09545-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Cocaring
  • Parent–teacher relationships
  • Parent–child relationships
  • Social emotional adjustment
  • Childcare
  • Infants and toddlers