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14-01-2021

Bidirectional Links Between Teachers’ Disciplinary Practices, Students’ Peer Status, and Students’ Aggression in Kindergarten

Tijdschrift:
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Auteurs:
Roxane L’Écuyer, François Poulin, Frank Vitaro, France Capuano
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Abstract

This study examined bidirectional links between teachers’ disciplinary practices (punitive and educational), students’ peer status in class (acceptance and rejection), and students’ aggressive behaviors. A sample comprising 1,038 students (mean age = 5.43 years) was assessed with the same instruments in the fall and spring of one kindergarten year. Teachers reported the disciplinary practices they used with each student in their class. Aggression, peer rejection, and peer acceptance were measured by peer sociometric nomination. Autoregressive cross-lagged modeling was used to test bidirectional associations. The results showed reciprocal links between punitive disciplinary practices, peer rejection, and students’ aggressive behaviors. More specifically, punitive discipline at kindergarten start predicted greater peer rejection and higher levels of aggressive behaviors at year end. Students’ aggressive behaviors and peer rejection at year start predicted greater use of punitive practice at year end. Educational discipline did not contribute to a change in students’ peer status and students’ aggressive behaviors.

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