Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Ann M. Stacks

Second Advisor

Marjorie Beeghly


The purpose of this study was to propose a new framework for the assessment of environmental quality in infant-toddler classrooms in Early Head Start (EHS), in which sequential observational scores across the morning on the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT; Atkins-Burnett et al., 2015) were re-framed as a micro-time-series. The purpose of these analyses was to assess within-person differences across a typical morning in EHS in teacher responsiveness and sensitivity to children’s social and emotional cues, their capacity for building relationships with children, and their support for children’s peer interaction and play. During hypothesis testing, interaction typologies emerged for teacher behavior in each of the social-emotional domains, the models for which demonstrated statistical coherence and important between-class differences with regard to the quality of care provided. When typologies of interaction quality were analyzed in association with teacher-level variables, attachment showed significant associations with observed caregiving behavior, such that secure teachers provided care that was more sensitive and responsive. Other teacher-level variables (emotion dysregulation and job stress), while correlated with one another, showed no association with latent class assignment. A final analysis examined whether average job stress at child care centers or operating community agencies predicted teacher behavior, but found no significant results. Implications for policy and professional development are discussed, as well as potential avenues for further applied research on teacher well-being in early childhood education in general, and EHS in particular.