Promoting higher quality teacher–child relationships: The insights intervention in rural schools

Kathleen Moritz Rudasill, Ray E. Reichenberg, Jungwon Eum, Jentry Stoneman Barrett, Yuenjung Joo, Emily Wilson, Martinique Sealy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children’s relationships with teachers in kindergarten are crucial for academic and social success. Research shows that teacher–child relationships are predicated, in part, on children’s temperament. The “INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament” intervention was intended to improve children’s and teachers’ understanding of their and others’ temperament, and has been shown to improve children’s social skills and self-regulation in urban, under-resourced schools. The current study is part of a replication of the effects of INSIGHTS with a sample in rural schools. The purpose was to test the effectiveness of INSIGHTS for promoting positive relationships between teachers and children in kindergarten. Two cohorts of kindergarten students (N = 127) and teachers (N = 30) were randomized into INSIGHTS or control conditions by school. Teachers reported on the quality of the teacher–child relationship before and after the INSIGHTS intervention (Time 1 and 2) using the Student–Teacher Relationship Scale: Short Form and provided a rating of children’s temperament with the Teacher School-Age Temperament Inventory at Time 1. Data were analyzed with hierarchical linear modeling. Two significant findings emerged. First, INSIGHTS promoted more closeness between teachers and children, regardless of temperament. Second, the INSIGHTS intervention was protective against the development of conflictual teacher–child relationships for children with negative reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9371
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Interventions
  • Kindergarten
  • Rural
  • Teacher–child relationships
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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