The purpose of this study was to examine whether gender would moderate the association between teacher–child relationship and children’s social skills in a sample of preschool children. Classroom teachers (N = 32) rated the quality of the teacher–child relationship (Student–Teacher Relationship Scale; STRS) and children’s social skills (Social Skills Rating System; SSRS) in a sample of 160 preschool children in Oman. Children’s ages ranged from 46 to 70 months with an average of 58 months (SD = 6 months). The hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis showed that the subscales (STRS) and the total score explained 21% of the variance in social skills. Gender was also a significant predictor of children’s social skills. Females’ close relationship with teachers predicted social skills better than males. Positive correlations were found between teacher–child conflict and both internalizing and externalizing behaviours, and between closeness and SSRS cooperation and self-control. Teacher–child dependence correlated negatively with both cooperation and SSRS total score. An independent-samples t-test showed that girls displayed higher scores than males in SSRS cooperation assertion, SSRS total score, and STRS closeness. Results inform policy-makers and practitioners about the gender disparity issue and the importance of developing positive and healthy teacher–child relationships in preschool.
- child–teacher relationship
- Social skills
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology