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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Linda Webster

First Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Second Committee Member

Jonathon Sandoval

Third Committee Member

Lynn Beck


Studies examining student-teacher relationships have indicated that certain relationship qualities, as well as teacher qualities, play a role in the development of student outcomes. Research suggests that this is particularly so for students who enter the classroom with preexisting risk factors (Hamre & Pianta, 2005). This study examined the way in which warm and caring teachers, as perceived by students themselves, moderate the link between the risk factor of early development of behavior problems at school and future problems, as defined by behavior problems and student-teacher conflict. Behavior problems were measured with an overall externalizing behavior composite. Participants in the analysis included 649 children from the longitudinal National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care. Variables in this study were measured from the 4 th through the 6 th grades. Though preliminary analyses indicated that having a warm and caring teacher in the 5 th grade was correlated with reduced behavior problems and better relationships with teachers in the 6 th grade, results of the moderation analyses suggested that there was no difference in extent of benefit for students with varying degrees of behavior problems. The results of this study may assist in determining how school psychologists can apply developmental theory through consultation with teachers to maximize student success and minimize problems in the classroom environment.





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