Kindergartners' Temperament, Classroom Engagement, and Student-teacher Relationship: Moderation by Effortful Control

Carlos Valiente, Jodi Swanson, Kathryn Lemery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine whether kindergartners' (N = 291; M age = 5 years) effortful control (EC), impulsivity, anger, or shyness predict their classroom participation, school liking, and student-teacher relationship. Parents and teachers reported on children's temperament. Children's EC and impulsivity were also assessed with the Continuous Performance Task. Teachers and children reported on classroom participation and school liking, and teachers reported on the student-teacher relationship. Consistent with predictions, EC was frequently positively related to the outcomes. Both impulsivity and anger were often negatively related to the outcomes. Evidence of a quadratic relation, in the form of an inverted U, between shyness and the student-teacher relationship also emerged. There was evidence that EC moderated many of the main effects. Subsequent analyses for impulsivity and anger demonstrated that the negative relations were often only for children low in EC whereas the negative relation for shyness was for children high in EC. Findings illustrate the utility in considering multiple ways components of temperament relate to early indices of school success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-576
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Engagement
  • Student-teacher relationship
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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