Students’ relationships with their teachers are a form of social capital (i.e., relational social capital; RSC). Latent transition analysis (LTA) was used to investigate longitudinal patterns of RSC in a sample of 786 grades 6 (35%), 7 (35%), and 8 (30%) students (48% female, 37% Hispanic, 22% white, 68% low income), and their links to academic motivation and GPA. Three classes of students were identified: Those with greater likelihood of reporting all RSC indicators (16%), those with greater likelihood only of being academically challenged (21%), and those with lower likelihood of reporting RSC (63%). Low-income students had lower odds of being in the high challenge class and greater odds of worsening relationships with teachers. Low RSC students had lower academic motivation and GPA. Results show the connections between RSC inequities and inequities in educational outcomes. To advance educational equity, intentional efforts are needed to build strong student-teacher relationships.
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