Behaviorally at-risk African American students:The importance of student-teacher relationships for student outcomes

Dawn M. Decker, Daria Paul Dona, Sandra L. Christenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the associations between the student-teacher relationship and outcomes for African American students who were behaviorally at-risk for referral to special education. Students were identified by their teachers as having behavior problems. Participants were 44 students and 25 teachers from two suburban and three urban elementary schools in a mid-western state. A multi-rater, multi-method approach was used. As teacher-reports of student-teacher relationship quality increased, there were also increases in positive social, behavioral, and engagement outcomes for students. Similarly, as student-reports of student-teacher relationship quality increased, there were increases in positive behavioral, engagement, and academic outcomes. Additional analyses of dyadic relationship patterns showed that as the relationship pattern improved (moving from negative concordance to discordance to positive concordance), there were increases in positive social, behavioral, and engagement outcomes for students. Implications for school practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-109
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of school psychology
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2007

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Keywords

  • At-risk students
  • Student-teacher relationships

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