European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 359–374 | Cite as

Child-perceived teacher emotional support, its relations with teaching practices, and task persistence

  • Eve KikasEmail author
  • Xin Tang


This study examined relations between child-reported teacher emotional support, teaching practices, and children’s task-persistent learning behaviour. The study was carried out in Estonia, where a students’ first teacher advances with his/her students and teaches all primary subjects in the first 3 years of schooling. In total, 660 sixth-grade children reported about their first teacher’s emotional support. Teachers’ child-centred and teacher-directed practices were observed with the Early Childhood Classroom Observation Measure (ECCOM); results included 38 teachers in Grade 1, and 37 in Grade 3. Within the same grades, teachers reported on their affection for students, as well as their behavioural and psychological control over students. Teachers also evaluated each of their student’s task persistence. As shown by ECCOM results, retrospective student-reported teacher emotional support tended to be positively related to child-centred practises, and negatively related to teacher-directed practises in Grade 3, while also negatively related to teacher-reported psychological control in Grade 1. Although higher perceived emotional support was related with more persistent learning behaviour on an individual level, general task persistence was predicted primarily by teacher-reported practices at the classroom level.


Teacher emotional support Child perception Child-centred and teacher-directed teaching practices Teacher affection Behavioural control Psychological control 


Funding information

This work received financial supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (grant no. IUT 03-03).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Natural Sciences and HealthTallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia
  2. 2.Faculty of Educational SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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