Teacher support as a buffer between interparental conflict and child social skills

  • Spjeldnes S
  • Koeske G
  • Sales E
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This study, conducted in 2004, investigated the direct effect of interparental conflict (IPC) about child-raising issues on the social skills of middle-class US children who attended a suburban preschool and the buffering effect of teacher support (n = 170). Findings indicated that greater IPC was associated with poorer child social skills. The prediction that teacher support buffers the association between such conflict and social skills was not supported. However, using a 3 x 3 two-way between subject ANOVA, the results showed that children with low-conflict versus high-conflict parents had significantly higher social skills scores, as predicted by the emotional security theory. Exploratory analyses found that conflict and teacher support significantly affected children's social skills when controlling for child gender. Girls' social skills scores exceeded boys' scores at every level of conflict and teacher support. (Contains 2 tables and 2 notes.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Child social skills
  • Emotional security theory
  • Gender
  • Interparental conflict
  • Teacher support

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  • Solveig Spjeldnes

  • Gary Koeske

  • Esther Sales

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