Teacher support mediates concurrent and longitudinal associations between temperament and mild depressive symptoms in sixth grade

Kathleen Moritz Rudasill, Patrick Pössel, Stephanie Winkeljohn Black, Kate Niehaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The combination of changes occurring at the transition to middle school may be a catalyst for the onset of depressive symptoms, yet teacher support at this transition is protective. Research points to certain temperamental traits as risk factors for developing depressive symptoms. This study examines student reports of teacher support and teacher reports of student-teacher relationship (STR) quality as mediators of associations between child temperament (i.e. negative emotionality at age 4 1/2 and emotional reactivity in elementary grades) and depressive symptoms in sixth grade. Results indicate (a) negative emotionality predicted emotional reactivity and depressive symptoms; (b) emotional reactivity predicted depressive symptoms; (c) students' perceptions of teacher support (in grade 6) and teachers' perceptions of STR quality (in grades 4-6) predicted depressive symptoms; and (d) student-teacher conflict mediated associations between emotional reactivity and depressive symptoms. Findings point to the importance of teacher support and positive STRs during the transition to middle school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-818
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Volume184
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • depression
  • structural equation modelling
  • student-teacher relationships
  • teacher support
  • temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics

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