Children’s Perception of the Teacher-Child Relationship in Tanzania: (Dis)Similarities among Children with Internalizing Versus Externalizing Behavior
In this study we examined the perception of young children with internalizing and externalizing behavior of their relationship with their teacher and their (di)similarities of their perception. The relationship with the teacher focused on warmth, conflict and autonomy support. Ninety-two (92) respondents, 40 children with internalizing behavior and 52 children with externalizing behavior, participated in the study. A series of two-way MANOVA’s was used to analyze the data. Overall, findings revealed that children from both groups roughly reported to experience disharmonious and conflitual relationships with their teachers and a more directive instruction from the teachers. Furthermore, children with internalizing behavior perceived more warmth in their relationship with teachers than children with externalizing behavior. These findings highlighted the difficulties experienced by both groups in their relationship with their teachers. We propose that teachers should be trained to identify and help children with internalizing and externalizing behavior.