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Teacher personal and professional characteristics: Contributions to emotional support and behavior guidance in early childhood classrooms

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Amy C Thomason
Abstract:
Emotional support and behavior guidance in early childhood classrooms have important influences on the social and emotional competence of the children within them. Accumulating evidence suggests that a higher percentage of children than ever before are entering early childhood programs prior to kindergarten and are doing so at a younger age. At the same time, research in the field has demonstrated associations between teacher emotional support and behavior guidance and outcomes for children. Many professional characteristics of teachers have been studied as predictors of emotional support and behavior guidance in early childhood classrooms but to date, little attention has been focused on teacher personal characteristics. The current study examined teacher personal characteristics in relation to the emotional support and behavior guidance in toddler and preschool classrooms. Data from the Comparison of Quality Assessment Tools (CQAT) study in North Carolina was used to address this aim with a sample of 135 teachers. Teachers completed questionnaires on personality, negative feelings, education, and professional development activities. A linear relationship between teacher personality characteristics and emotional support and behavior guidance was not evident in the study. However, results indicated relationships among several of the other study variables and found several examples of moderation of relationships by toddler or preschool class type. Results are discussed in terms of implications for future research and practice in early childhood education.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

LIST OF TABLES

................................ ................................ ................................ .........................

vii

LIST OF FIGURES

................................ ................................ ................................ ......................

viii

CHAPTER

I. INTRODUCTION

................................ ................................ ................................ ............

1

II. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE

................................ ................................ .....................

7

Application to Teaching Behavior

................................ ................................ .........

10

III. REVIEW OF LITERATURE

................................ ................................ ...........................

14

Emotional Support and Behavior Guidance

................................ ..........................

15

Teacher Personal Characteristics

................................ ................................ .........

21

Teacher Professional Characteristics

................................ ................................ ...

30

Toddler and Preschool Teachers

................................ ................................ ..........

33

Research Questions

................................ ................................ .............................

35

IV. METHODOLOGY

................................ ................................ ................................ ..........

37

Recruitment of Sites

................................ ................................ .............................

38

Selection of Teachers

................................ ................................ ...........................

39

Teacher Characteristics

................................ ................................ ........................

40

Overview of Data Collection

................................ ................................ .................

40

Measures

................................ ................................ ................................ .............

42

Data Preparation, Management, and Analysis

................................ ......................

49

V. RESULTS

................................ ................................ ................................ .....................

53

Preliminary Analyses

................................ ................................ ............................

53

Emotional Support

Dimensions and Behavior Management

................................ .

54

Correlations

Among S tudy V ariables

................................ ................................ ....

55

Prediction of E motional Sup port

and

Behavior Management

................................

57

VI. DISCUSSION

................................ ................................ ................................ ...............

64

Describing ECE Classrooms and Teachers

................................ ..........................

65

Relationships Among Study Variables

................................ ................................ ..

68

Predict ing Emotional Support

and Behavior Management

................................ ....

71

Limitations

................................ ................................ ................................ ............

76

Conclusions

................................ ................................ ................................ ..........

77

vi

REFERENCES

................................ ................................ ................................ ............................

81

APPENDIX

A. TABLES AND FIGURES

................................ ................................ ......................

92

vii

LIST OF TABLES

Page

Table 1. Means, standard deviations, and range for CLASS

variables

(Possible range of 1 to 7)

................................ ................................ .............................

97

Table 2. Means, standard deviations, and range for NEO variables

(transformed to T - scores for interpretation, Possible range of 25 - 75)

..........................

97

Table

3. Means, standard deviations, and range for TSI variables

................................ ...............

98

Table 4. ANOVA comparing Toddler and Preschool classroom and teacher

variable means

................................ ................................ ................................ ............

99

Table 5. Bivariate Correlations Among All Study Variables

................................ ........................

100

Table 6. Summary of results from Multivariate Multiple Regression

calculating relative contributions

to emotional support

dimensions and behavior management from teacher personal

and

professional

characteristics

(controlling for star level)

................................ ................

101

Table 7. Summary of Results from Hierarchical Regression predicting dependent

variables and assessing moderation by class type for teacher

professional characteristics

(controlling for star level)

................................ ................

102

Table 8. Summary of Results from Hierarc hical Regression predicting dependent

variables and assessing moderation by class type for teacher

personal and professional characteristics

(controlling for star level)

................................ ................................ ...........................

103

viii

LIST OF FIGURES

Page

Figure 1. Bar graph illustrating the differences between CLASS

dimension

score means by classroom age - level

................................ ................................ ......

92

Figure 2. Moderating effects of class type on relationship between teacher

Education Level and Regard for Student Perspectives

................................ ............

93

Figure 3. Moderating effects of class type on relationship between teacher

Neur oticism and Behavior Management

................................ ................................ ..

94

Figure 4. Moderating effects of class type on relationship between teacher

Openness to New Expe riences and Behavior Management

................................ ....

95

Figure 5. Moderating effects of class type on relationship between teacher

Agreea bleness and Behavior Management

................................ .............................

96

1

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

M ore young childr en in the U.S. are spending

time in early childhood education (ECE) programs than ever before. Currently, over 1.5 million toddler - aged children in the United States attend center - based early childhood programs on a regular basis. In the U.S., by the

time children are 3 years old, 43% of them will attend center - based early child hood

programs and

bef ore Kindergarten entry approximately 69% o f children will have attended a center - based early child care program

(U.S. Department of Education, 2009) . Economic and familial trends in the U.S. have created an increased need for child care as the number of du al earner families and single - parent families rise (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Rec onciliation Act (PRWORA) of

1996 further increased the demand

for child care by imposing limits on welfare and requiring parents living in poverty to return to work or school. Moreover, the field of neuroscience has recently demonstrated the importance of very early experiences for young children to support school readiness skills and

optimal development

( National Research Council & Institute of Medicine, 2000).

This

research

has also resulted in an increase in the use of center - based early childhood programs including many parents choosing

them for their children even if their work

schedules do not require it, Head Start programs expanding to include Early Head Start , and the adoption of universal or targeted public preschool programs by many states. Thus, the number of

center - based ECE programs

ha s

increased

significantly in recent

years.

2

Given the increasing number of children atte nding ECE programs and the resources allocat ed to these programs, r esearch has focused on how to define quality in these settings and what contributes to early childhood classrooms as effective learning environments. Classroom quality is commonly conceptualized in one of three ways: a) structural quality which includes aspects of materials, curriculum, teacher education and training, b) process quality whic h includes the daily human interactions that take place in classrooms, and c) global quality that encompasses both structural quality and process quality. P ositive correlation s between each type and outcomes for young children exist (e.g . Bowman, Donovan, & Burns, 2001 ; Helburn et al., 1995; Howes et al. , 2008; Mashburn et al., 2008).

T eacher - child interactions are an aspect of pro cess quality in ECE classrooms that have recently received more attention in research as a possibly important pathway to childr en’s development within the classroom context. Recent research demonstrates

significant associations between

teacher - child interactions and outcomes for young children in ECE classrooms ( e.g. Howes et al., 2008; Mashburn et al., 2008 ).

The current study

fo cuses on teacher - child interactions

in two areas , teacher emotional support and behavior guidance . Emotional support and behavior guidance

in early childhood classrooms are important mechanisms for the development of emotional and behavioral self - regulation in young children (Hamre & Pianta, 2005;

NICHD ECCRN, 2003; Raver, Garner, & Smith - Donald, 2007), both of which are important for school readiness skills (Blair, 2002; Raver, 2002).

However, t he focus of the current study is on the teacher . The teacher is a critical part of any teacher - child interaction and responsible for the emotional support and behavior guidance

provided to children in early childhood classrooms. Thus, in theory,

3

teacher - child interactions may mediate a relationship bet ween characteristics of the teacher and the outcomes for young children (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). T he current

study focuses on both describing

teacher - child

interactions in early childhood classrooms and examining what teacher characteristics may be as sociated with those interactio ns in light of

research and theory supporting their influence on children’s development (Howes et al., 2008; Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Mashburn et al., 2008).

Teacher characteristi cs have long been considered importa nt corre lates

of teacher effectiveness . However, the characteristics

that have been studied

are limited , focusing mostly on education (including training), experience, and general demographic

information . Conclusions from studies of teacher education and quality teacher - child interactions indicate that teacher quality is a complex construct that cannot be determined by education alone. Most r esearch conducted on teacher education demonstrates a consistent a ssociation between more education and hi gher quality in ECE classrooms (Bowman et al., 2001; de Kruif, McWilliam, Ridley, & Wakely, 2000; Helburn et al., 1995; see Whitebook, 2003 for a review). However, some studies h ave not found this association (Early et al., 2006; Early et al., 2007).

Thus, there may not be a

linear pathway between more education of the teacher and higher quality in classrooms as previous studies have suggested. Early et al. (2007) suggest that “teachers’ education must be considered a s part of a system of factors that contribute to teacher quality” (p. 577). The challenge to the field is to determine what other factors are salient parts

of that system .

The ma jor contribution of the current

study to the

ECE literature is its focus on p ersonal

characteristics of teachers , such as personality and negative feelings,

as variables

that may contribute to teacher - child interactions related to emotional support

4

and behavior guidance in ECE classrooms . Recently, ECE

scholars have been calling for more research on teacher emotional characteristics including personality, depression, and overall mental health as the importance of teacher - child interactions continues to be demonstrated in the literature

( Decker and Rimm - Kaufman , 2008 ; Hamre & Piant a, 2004; Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Li Grining et al., 2010 ) .

Hamre and Pianta (2004) suggest that “recognizing the emotional and psychological health of child - care providers is an important, yet often overlooked, component to the provision of high qualit y child care” (p. 315). The current

research takes important steps towards responding to this need

by studying teacher personal

characteristics as predictor s

of teacher - child interactions in the areas of emotion al support and behavior guidance in ECE

class rooms.

In regard to personality in particular, there is reason to believe that teachers may differ somewhat in personality characteristics compared to the average population (Decker & Rimm - Kaufman, 2008; Sears, Kennedy, &

Kale, 1997). For example, Decker and Rimm - Kaufman assessed personality in a group of early childhood pre - service teachers and found that teacher personality characteristics in this sample were unique

in comparison to a normed national sample. Specifically , these pre - service teachers scored significantly higher on measures of five common domains of personality: neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to new experiences than the average population (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Stu dying an d recognizing these differences in teachers can help researchers and educators better understand who is attracted to the teaching profession and contribute to discourse about the best approaches to effectively educate pre - service and in - service tea chers.

5

M ost of the research conducted on teacher personality in an educational setting too k place prior to the 1970’s. However, inadequate measures of personality and teaching behavior led to inconsistent findings (Rushton, Morgan, & Richard, 2007). Resea rch on teacher personality since then has taken place most commonly in secondary schools and higher education settings (e.g. Feldman, 1986; Fisher & Kent, 1998; Sparks & Lipka, 1992; Sprague, 1997; Zhang, 2007 ). This research has most often focused on ide ntifying prevalent personality traits among effective teachers and has indicated a moderate to strong association between teacher personality and their behaviors in the classroom.

Another contribution of the current study is that the design of the study addresses the complexity in assessing and understanding teacher quality (Pianta, 1999).

This complexity is reflected in two ways. First, in order to connect

findings on teacher personal characteristics

and teaching behaviors with the current literatu re, it is important to study how these characteristics are related to established predictors of teacher - child interactions. The current study includes both teacher personal

and professional characteristics, i ncluding education level and professional develo pment activities , as possible predictors of emotion al support and behavior guidance in ECE classrooms.

Second , the current study compare s

the differences in characteristics between toddler and preschool teachers and examines how these differences may differentially predict emotional support and behavior guidance

for these two age groups. Toddler and preschool aged children are developmental ly different from one another so it is also possible that the teachers attracted to working with them also differ due to the skills and interaction styles needed to work with the different groups. Differences are also highlighted when considering societal images of toddler and preschool teachers, with the

6

latter often give n more respect as “real teachers ”. Moreover, studies indicate that the variables that are associated with classroom structural and process quality may differ between toddler and preschool classrooms (NICHD ECCRN, 2000a; Phillips, Mekos, Scarr, McCartney, & Abbott - Shim, 2000). Thus, further investigation into how quality varies between these two types of classrooms is warranted.

Th us, based on previous research and limitations within these s tudies, the

aims of the current study were : a) to examine teacher - child interactions, particularly in relation to emotion al support and behavior guidance , in toddler and preschool early childhood classrooms ; b) to examine the associ ations among teacher per sonal

characteristics (neuroticism, openness

to new experiences , extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness , n egative feelings about work, negative feelings about life in general ), professional characteristics (education level, professional development

activities ), and classroom emotional support and behavior guidance

in ECE classrooms; c) to predict teacher - child interactions related to

emotional support and behavior guidance

from these teacher characteristics; d) t o examine if teacher personal

charac teristics predict the quality of their interactions with children above and beyond their professional characteristics ; and e) to examine if the predictive relationships v ary based on classroom type (t oddler or preschool ) .

7

CHAPTER II

THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE

The proposed study is guided by Bronfenbrenner’s

bio - ecological perspective (2001 ). This theory suggests

that human development across the life span is fueled by the complex inter - relationships among characteristics of people, the

contexts they are situated in, the processes that take place within those contexts, and the historical and life course time in which the development is taking place. Bron fenbrenner

referred to these inter - relationships as the Process - Person - Context - Time ( PPCT) model. T he current study focuses on three aspects of the PPCT model, process, context, and person.

Bronfenbrenner (2001) referred to the processes within the PPCT model as proximal processes. He theorized that proximal processes we re the “primary engines of development” (p. 6) and

thus the most influential human experience for their development . P roximal processes are defined as “processes of progressively more complex reciprocal interaction between an active, evolving biopsychological hu man organism and the persons, objects, and symbols in its immediate external environment” (p. 6). They

a re interactions within people’ s everyday environment s

and can include most everyth ing that takes place in their

lives as they interact with the world. T hese in teractions occur between developing humans and other people,

symbols (such as spoken or written language), or objects within the immediate environment.

In order for proximal processes to influence development, they must occur

on a regular basis ,

ove r an extended period of time, be reciprocal in nature, and be increasingly complex

8

(instead of repetitiv e). Thus, a one - time encounter with a person, object, or environment is unlikely to change a developmental trajectory.

The current study conceptualize s proximal processes as teacher - child interactions and includes two additional components of the PPCT model, person and context . Bronfenbrenner (2001) theorized that person characteristics and context

are indirectly related to

development by influencing th e proximal processes that a person experiences. The person in Bronfenbrenner’s PPCT model is the developing person. According to Bronfenbrenner and Morris (1998), charact eristics of people are

influential to their development b ecause they influence the pro ximal processes they experience. The characteristics of people that can influence or evoke differing proximal processes are multiple but include genes, reactivity, temperament, birth weight, disabilities, level of curiosity, personality, mental health, abi lity to de lay gratification, among others . These characteristics

affect

what objects and people

one wi ll interact with as well as the nature of those interactions .

Bronfenbrenner and Morris (1998) further separate

pe rson characteristics into thre e categories: force, resource, and

demand characteristics. Force characteristics are dispositions of a person and include two types: developmentally generative and developmentally disruptive. Developmentally generative dispositions are those “behavioral disp ositions that can set proximal processes in motion and sustain their operation” (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998; p. 1009) and developmentally disruptive dispositions are behavioral dispositions that “interfere with, retard, or even prevent” proximal process es (p. 1009). According to Bronfenbrenner and Morris (1998), examples of developmentally generative dispositions include curiosity, ability to delay gratification, and extraversion. Examples of developmentally disruptive dispositions include

9

impulsiveness,

distractibility, and aggression. Res ource characteristics are biological characteris tics such as low birt h weight, genetic defects, IQ, or other specific aptitudes. D emand characteristics are referred to as such because of their ability to illicit (demand ) responses from the environment. Examples of these characteristics include temperament and physical appearance. The current study includes teacher personality as the person characteristics of interest. Teacher personality most closely aligns with Bronfenb renner’s notion of developmentally generative and developmentally disruptive dispositions.

In addition to person characteristics, b io - ecological theory suggests that contexts also influence the proximal process es that take place within them . Brofenbrenne r

(1979) emphasized the importance of studying development in context and proposed

the concept of nested and interconnected systems to represent what he referred to as the ecological environment in which development takes place. The microsystem is th e inte rconnectedness between

individual s

and the other people they interact

with everyday. The interactions between people and institutions that have a direct effect on the individual, such as the school, are called the mesosystem. The exosystem inclu des the int eractions between

individual s

and institutions that have an indirect effect on their

development such as the political structure and policies in place within it. Finally, the macrosystem is the broadest context that includes culture. Bronfenbrenner (1979) posited that within a larger macrosystem, the other systems work in a similar manner for each of the individuals within it but that between macrosystems the differences can be great. Context in the current study is measured by two aspects of teacher profes sional characteristics: education level and membership in a professional organization.

10

One component of the PPCT model, time, is not included in the current study. It is important to note that although Bronfenbrenner (2001) suggested that theoretically all

four components of the PPCT model are interrelated and important to development, due to desig n constraints in research, it is rarely the case in practice for them to all be measured within one study (Tudge, Mokrova, Hatfield, & Karnik, 2009). Bronfenbrenn er himself often cited studies to exemplify his theory that did not include all four components of the PPCT model (Bronfenbrenner & Ceci, 1994). The current study excludes time as a variable because of two reasons: 1) the study questions do not necessitate

a longitudinal component and 2) it is influenced by Bronfenbrenner’s theoretical perspective but does not propose to model it exactly or test it in its entirety. Rather, as it is applied to teaching behavior, the current study proposes to simply draw on c oncepts from Bronfenbrenner’s PPCT model (Tudge et al., 2009).

Application to Teaching Behavior

T he implementation of a bio - ecological viewpoint in early childhood education research necessitate s

the view that teacher - child interactions are critical to the development of children within early childhood classroom s .

Add itionally, such a viewpoint would suggest that

the manner in which teachers interact with children is possibly influenced by their o wn personal characteristics ( e.g. personality , temperament, mental health) and contextual variables ( e.g. education level, ethnicity of teachers and children, classroom and center characteristics ) . Bronfenbrenner (2001) posited that “although proximal proc esses function as the engines of development, the energy that drives them comes from deeper sources” (p. 9). The current study proposes to measure proximal processes and two aspects of the suggested “deeper sources” that influence

11

them, person characterist ics and context conceptualized as teacher personality and professional characteristics.

Drawing from Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory (1979) and General Systems Theory (GST; Ford & Lerner, 1992), Pianta (1999) proposes the application of a syste ms perspective to teacher - child interactions in classrooms. Similar to the concept of proximal processes, Pianta emphasizes that adult - child relationships are the most influential mechanism in child development and that teacher - child interactions are so cr itical because they lead to the development of teacher - child relationships. Thus, in terms of Bronfenbrenner’s theory, proximal processes lead to the development of relationships among those individuals involved in them. Pianta (1999) describes this proces s as such:

Interactions between two people, over time and across many situations, come to be patterned; when they do, these patterns reflect a relationship shared by the two individuals. This relationship, and its qualities, can play a role in shaping the

behaviors of the individuals involved - the relationship, through countless interactions, will regulate or constrain the development of the two individuals. (p. 29).

According to Pianta (1999), the systems perspective can be applied to classrooms by view ing the classroom, the children, and the teachers within it all as dynamic systems simultaneously influenced by many external and internal factors including culture, home - life, neighborhood, friends, and the biological and behavioral regulatory systems of the individual. Thus, the classroom is a system belonging to a larger system of the school and made up of several smaller systems of the individual children, dyadic systems of teacher - child relationships, families, and teachers. Also similar to Bronfenbren ner’s assertion, this perspective requires a holistic rather than additive approach when studying classrooms, and Pianta recommends a broad unit of

12

analysis in education research to reflect the complexity of effective classrooms. He asserts that one cannot

understand why a teacher uses specific behavior guidance strategies or interacts in a certain way without first knowing more about the individual teacher, the school as a whole, and characteristics of the community in which it is placed.

Of particular rel evance to the current study is Pianta’s (1999) view of the teacher as a developing system within the classroom. He suggests that adult - child relationships are “asymmetrical” (p. 30). Thus, the adult has more power and weight in determining their nature. Gi ven that teacher - child relationships are an important influence on children’s development, the teacher, and characteristics of the teacher, would also be important determinants of that relationship under this perspective. Pianta posits that when studying t eacher - effectiveness it is necessary to view the teacher multi - dimensionally and look beyond training and education to other characteristics of the teacher.

In reference to teacher characteristics specifically, Luster and Okagaki (2005) provide a good exam ple of how Bronfenbrenner’s theory can be adapted to enhance our unde rstandings of teacher behavior through an ecological model for parenting behavior. They posit

that many important questions regarding parenting such as “Why do parents differ markedly in

the ways in which they care for their children?” and “What factors contribute to individual differences in parenting behavior?” (p. xi) can

be answered by approaching the se questions

with

an ecological framework that examines context, child, and parent ch aracteristics. The current study proposes a similar framework for understanding teaching behaviors in which teacher - child interactions are influenced by teacher characteristics and seeks to begin to answer similar questions about teachers as

13

those Luster and Okagaki posed about parents. These include broadly “why do teachers differ markedly in the ways in which they interact with children?” and “what factors contribute to individual differences in teaching behavior?”

14

CHAPTER

III

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The current review of the literature begins discussing emotional support and behavioral guidance. It includes a discussion of several applicable developmental models and examines how teacher - child interactions related to classroom emotional support and beh avior guidance are important to social and emotional outcomes for young children in ECE classrooms. Second, a review of teacher characteristics including personality, depressive symptoms, and professional characteristics is offered in relation to teaching behavior. Finally, differences in toddler and preschool classrooms are presented as evidence of how the relations between teacher characteristics and emotional support and behavior guidance may differ between the two settings. It is also important to note that emotional support and behavior guidance are discussed in terms of teacher - child interactions throughout.

Throughout the current review of the literature, evidence from the parenting literature is occasionally presented in addition to the l iterature on teaching. This is not to suggest an assumption that teaching is the same as parenting or that these mechanisms will operate in a similar way across those two contexts. Teachers are usually short term participants in children’s lives as opposed

to parents (Howes & Speiker, 2008). However, this does not underplay the importance of teacher behaviors, it only puts them in a different context. Associations between teacher - child interactions and child outcomes have been demonstrated in preschool cla ssrooms in the time frame of one year, the usual amount of time a child spends with the same teacher (Howes et al.,

15

2008; Mashburn et al., 2008).

However, some of the cur rent research is exploratory in nature in the context of early childhood classrooms. T hus, the parenting literature is offered as evidence that these associations exist in the context of adult - child interactions for young children.

Emotional Support and Behavior G uidance

The emotional support and behavior guidance strategies used in early childhood classrooms are the pathways in which teacher personal characteristics (such as personality, depression, social and emotional competence) have an impact on social - emotional outcomes for children. Thus, ECE teacher emotional support and behavior gu idance

are important to study as indicators of both teacher effectiveness

and as likely predictors of child outcomes

(Jennings & Greenberg, 2009) .

Definitions of effective emotional support and behavior guidance are difficult because so much of human interaction is subjective and individual based on culture and context. However, currently there is some evidence - based consensus on many aspects of wha t these interactions should look like in ECE classrooms to support positive outcomes for children. Two developmental models , attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969) and emotion socialization ( Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Cumberland, 1998 ),

Full document contains 114 pages
Abstract: Emotional support and behavior guidance in early childhood classrooms have important influences on the social and emotional competence of the children within them. Accumulating evidence suggests that a higher percentage of children than ever before are entering early childhood programs prior to kindergarten and are doing so at a younger age. At the same time, research in the field has demonstrated associations between teacher emotional support and behavior guidance and outcomes for children. Many professional characteristics of teachers have been studied as predictors of emotional support and behavior guidance in early childhood classrooms but to date, little attention has been focused on teacher personal characteristics. The current study examined teacher personal characteristics in relation to the emotional support and behavior guidance in toddler and preschool classrooms. Data from the Comparison of Quality Assessment Tools (CQAT) study in North Carolina was used to address this aim with a sample of 135 teachers. Teachers completed questionnaires on personality, negative feelings, education, and professional development activities. A linear relationship between teacher personality characteristics and emotional support and behavior guidance was not evident in the study. However, results indicated relationships among several of the other study variables and found several examples of moderation of relationships by toddler or preschool class type. Results are discussed in terms of implications for future research and practice in early childhood education.