An examination of the relationship among teachers’ perceptions of social-emotional learning, teaching efficacy, teacher-student interactions, and students’ behavioral difficulties.


The study investigated how teachers’ perceptions of emotional intelligence (EI), social and emotional learning (SEL) skills, and teaching efficacy relate to perceptions of teacher-student relationships and students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties. Ninety-eight elementary teachers from public schools in central Greece completed the Self-Rated Emotional Intelligence Scale (SREIS), the Teacher SEL Beliefs Scale, the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES), the Student-Teacher Relationships Scale-Short Form (STRS-SF), and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for 617 of their students, aged 6-11 years old. Structural equation modeling was used to examine an exploratory model of the variables. It was demonstrated that teachers’ perceptions of EI, SEL, and teaching efficacy were significantly related to teacher-student relationships, but they were not related to students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties. Rather, teachers’ perceptions of teacher-student relationships were significantly related to these difficulties. These findings, and their implications for research and practice, are discussed.