Relations of Classroom Structures and Teacher Behaviors to Social Orientation, Self-Esteem, and Classroom Climate Among Anglo American and Mexican American Children

Jann Gumbiner, George P. Knight, Spencer Kagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


This investigation examines the relationship of classroom structure and teacher behaviors to cooperative, competitive, and individualistic social orientation, self-esteem, and classroom climate among Mexican American and Anglo Anerican children. Fifteen teachers were systematically observed in their classrooms, and 107 children (77 Anglo and 30 Mexican American, ages 7–11) were tested on the social orientation choice card (SOCC), Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale, and Anderson's My Class Inventory. Results indicate that (a) the teachers frequently used cooperative group classroom structures, (b) teacher behaviors and classroom structures were related to social orientation and self-esteem of children in a culturally relative pattern, and (c) teacher behaviors were significantly related to positive classroom climates for both cultural groups. Results are discussed in terms of cultural relativity of the interrelations among the school and child variables, implications for desegregation, and the possible antecedents of the observed cultural differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-40
Number of pages22
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

Cite this