School Psychology Review vol:44 issue:3 pages:306-314
Previous studies have found that different trajectories of conflicted relationships with teachers predicted academic underachievement. However, little is known about what places children at risk of atypical conflict trajectories. This follow-up study examines whether African American ethnicity, IQ, and socioeconomic status (SES) are unique predictors of teacher-student conflict trajectories, taking into account sociobehavioral predictors, including aggression and prosocial behavior. The study included an ethnically diverse sample of 657 academically at-risk children in which four latent growth classes of conflict trajectories (Grades 1-5) predicted underachievement previously. In this follow- up study, six predictors were examined: African American ethnicity, SES, IQ (independent assessment), inhibitory control (performance measure), and aggression and prosocial behavior (peer assessment). The results showed that African American ethnicity, but not IQ and SES, uniquely predicted atypical conflict trajectories while controlling for sociobehavioral predictors. African American children were at risk of increasingly conflicted relationships with elementary school teachers, which has been found to increase the risk of academic underachievement in middle school.