Teacher–child relationships, classroom climate, and children’s social-emotional and academic development.

Previous research has demonstrated that teacher–child relationship quality and classroom emotional climate are each related to children’s social-emotional and academic development, yet work examining interactional quality at both child and classroom levels simultaneously is limited. The current study examines whether teacher–child relationship quality as perceived by both teachers and children is associated with child social-emotional and academic outcomes over one school year and whether these associations are moderated by the quality of classroom emotional climate. Participants included 526 Grade 3–5 students and their 35 teachers from six urban public elementary schools. Higher child-reported relationship quality with teachers predicted lower child-reported depressive symptoms in spring, controlling for fall levels. Higher teacher-reported conflict was related to higher child-reported and teacher-reported aggression and lower ELA achievement. A significant cross-level interaction between classroom-level emotional support and teacher-reported conflict in predicting teacher-reported aggression indicated that higher quality classroom emotional climate may mitigate risk of aggression for children with poor-quality teacher relationships. Yet an overall lack of significant interaction effects indicates that classroom-level emotional support did not compensate for low-quality dyadic relationships, suggesting that teachers in upper elementary school should be trained and supported in developing and maintaining positive relationships with each of their students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)