Relationships between teachers and Urban African American children the role of informant

Rick B. Rey, Ami L. Smith, Jina Yoon, Cheryl Somers, Douglas Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine students' and teachers' perceptions of their relationship. Eighty-nine African American children in Grades 3 through 6 and their teachers independently rated the quality of the teacher-child relationship and completed a range of questionnaires regarding the children's school-related adjustment. Teacher and child reports on the quality of the relationship were correlated significantly (r = 0.33, p ≤ 0.01). Positive teacher-child relationships, as reported by children, predicted several school outcome variables above and beyond teacher ratings of the relationship. Specifically, they predicted better classroom rule compliance, more interest in school, more feelings of connectedness towards school and more involvement in school-related activities. Generally teachers' perceptions of the relationships were best at predicting teacher rated outcomes and children's perceptions of the relationships were best at predicting children's rated outcomes, highlighting the importance of considering both children's and teachers' points of view as well as the likely contributions of shared method and informant variances. Findings suggest that teacher efforts to improve their sensitivity to child needs and supportiveness of students can have a broader influence on children's overall school functioning. This study also calls for the development of intervention studies to enhance the quality of teacher-child relationships and better examine the direction of the effects suggested by this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-364
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Attachment
  • Children
  • Classroom behaviour
  • Social support
  • Student-teacher relationship
  • Teacher-child agreement
  • Teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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