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Influence of problematic child-teacher relationships on future psychiatric disorder: population survey with 3-year follow-up

  • lain A. Lang (a1), Ruth Marlow (a2), Robert Goodman (a3), Howard Meltzer (a4) and Tamsin Ford (a5)...
Abstract
Background

Teacher-pupil relationships have been found to mediate behavioural, social and psychological outcomes for children at different ages according to teacher and child report but most studies have been small.

Aims

To explore later psychiatric disorder among children with problematic teacher-pupil relationships.

Method

Secondary analysis of a population-based cross-sectional survey of children aged 5-16 with a 3-year follow-up.

Results

Of the 3799 primary-school pupils assessed, 2.5% of parents reported problematic teacher-pupil relationships; for secondary-school pupils (n=3817) this rose to 6.6%. Among secondary-school pupils, even when children with psychiatric disorder at baseline were excluded and we adjusted for baseline psychopathology score, problematic teacher-pupil relationships were statistically significantly related to higher levels of psychiatric disorder at 3-year follow-up (odds ratio (OR) = 1.93, 95% CI 1.07-3.51 for any psychiatric disorder, OR=3.00, 95% CI 1.37-6.58 for conduct disorder). Results for primary-school pupils were similar but non-significant at this level of adjustment.

Conclusions

This study underlines the need to support teachers and schools to develop positive relationships with their pupils.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Tamsin Ford, University of Exeter Medical School, Vesey Building, Exeter EX2 4SG, UK. Email: T.J.Ford@exeter.ac.uk
Footnotes
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These authors contributed equally to the work.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Influence of problematic child-teacher relationships on future psychiatric disorder: population survey with 3-year follow-up

  • lain A. Lang (a1), Ruth Marlow (a2), Robert Goodman (a3), Howard Meltzer (a4) and Tamsin Ford (a5)...
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