Social dynamics in the classroom: Teacher support and conflict and the peer ecology

Marloes M H G Hendrickx*, M. Tim Mainhard, Henrike J. Boor-Klip, Antonius H M Cillessen, Mieke Brekelmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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By showing support and conflict, teachers may function as a model for students regarding how to interact and how to evaluate each other, thereby shaping the classroom peer ecology. Associations of general and student-specific levels and differential provision of teacher support and conflict with the classroom peer ecology were investigated. Multivariate multiple regression analyses were performed with a sample of 58 Dutch fifth-grade classrooms (1454 students). In particular student perceptions of teacher support and conflict, rather than teacher perceptions or observations, explained peer liking and disliking, the degree of social hierarchy, and how prosocial versus aggressive the peer ecology was.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Differential teacher behavior
  • Peer ecology
  • Teacher conflict
  • Teacher support


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