Objective: This study aimed to provide a systematic understanding of children s peer initiative and peer acceptance and to offer specific information to increase young children s social competence.
Methods: Participants were 235 5-year-old children from six child care centers in Sejong City. The participants were interviewed to measure the peer acceptance of children attending the same class. Also, a survey was conducted on their teachers to measure children s peer initiative and the relationship with them. The collected data were analyzed by hierarchical regression using the SPSS 21.0 program.
Results: The results showed that significant main effects of friendly and unfriendly peer-initiatives on peer acceptance were found. The effects of teacher- child relationships and their moderating effects, however, were partial; only main influences of close relationships and the interaction effects between peer- initiatives and close relationships were significant. That is, the relationships between improper initiatives and low acceptance levels among peers were more intense when children established conflict relationships with their teacher.
Conclusion/Implications: We found that close teacher-child relationships play moderating roles on the pathway from peer initiative to peer acceptance as a protective risk factor for children.