A Developmental Perspective on Reciprocal Effects of Teacher-Student Relationship and Achievement Across the Elementary Grades
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The current study utilized structural equation modeling to test an indirect model of the effects of Teacher-Student Relationship Quality (TSRQ) on reading and math achievement via the indirect effects of TSRQ on engagement over the entire grade school period (grades 1-5). The use of this design allowed for the testing of reciprocal causal pathways and stationarity effects across the first five years of post-kindergarten schooling. It was hypothesized that structural relationships between TSRQ, engagement and achievement would vary across the grade school period with early experiences with teachers influencing students’ patterns of engagement which would become stable, influencing future teacher-student relationships and long-term achievement. Additionally, muti-group analyses were utilized to determine if gender or ethnicity impacts the fit of the structural model. Results indicated that the effect of TSRQ on engagement is invariant across time. For both math and reading target outcomes, the null hypothesis that effects are invariant (i.e., constant) across time could not be rejected. Additionally, results did not indicate that gender or ethnic group membership impacted the structural fit of the model. The current sample was limited to elementary school students and may not have provided a sufficient age span to investigate the developmental trends in teacher-student relationships that were predicted. Additionally, while the influence of TSRQ on engagement and achievement remains constant, the process through which TSRQ influences achievement may vary at different developmental periods. Study limitations and implications were also discussed.
Barrois, Lisa Katherine (2010). A Developmental Perspective on Reciprocal Effects of Teacher-Student Relationship and Achievement Across the Elementary Grades. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from