Inhibitory control and teacher-child conflict: Reciprocal associations across the elementary-school years

Daniel Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, longitudinal data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were used to test a theoretical model in which one aspect of children's self-regulation skills - their inhibitory-control abilities - were hypothesized to show reciprocal relations with their levels of teach of teacher-child across the elementary-school years. The findings were largely consistent with the hypothesized model. Across multiple points in elementary school, lower levels of inhibitory control were associated with higher subsequent levels of teacher-child conflict. In turn, higher levels of teacher-child conflict were associated with lower subsequent levels of inhibitory control. Some evidence suggested that the magnitude of this latter relation was particularly strong for girls in the later elementary-school years. Direct relations between inhibitory control and teacher-child conflict were partially mediated by children's inattention and aggression problems. Potential implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-76
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggression problems
  • Attention problems
  • Inhibitory control
  • Self-regulation
  • Teacher-child conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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