Similarities and dissimilarities between teachers’ and students’ relationship views in upper elementary school: The role of personal teacher and student attributes.


The present study aimed to advance insight into similarities and dissimilarities between teachers’ and students’ views of closeness and conflict in their dyadic relationship, and personal teacher and student attributes that contribute to these views. In total, 464 students (50.2% girls) and 62 teachers (67.5% females) from grades 4 to 6 participated in this study. Teachers filled out questionnaires about their background characteristics, self-efficacy (TSES), and student-teacher relationship perceptions (STRS) and students answered questions about their demographics and the student-teacher relationship quality (SPARTS). Peer-nominations were used to measure students’ internalizing and externalizing behavior. Tests for measurement invariance suggested that the conflict and closeness constructs both approximated similarity across students and teachers. Multilevel structural equation models furthermore indicated that students’ relationship perceptions, and conflict in particular, were predicted by their own gender, socioeconomic status, and internalizing and externalizing behavior. Additionally, teaching experience negatively predicted students’ perceived conflicts. Teachers’ relationship perceptions were both predicted by their own characteristics (teaching experience) and student features (gender, socioeconomic status, and externalizing behavior). These predictors explained between 39% and 61% of the variance in student- and teacher-perceived closeness and conflict. Last, teachers’ general self-efficacy was positively associated with mean levels of closeness, and negatively associated with mean levels of conflict across student-teacher dyads.