Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Julia Ogg


externalizing behavior, mathematics outcomes, reading outcomes


The student-teacher relationship (STR) is an important component of a student's success in school. STRs have the potential to serve as an asset for students' well-being and achievement throughout their school career. Current literature suggests that there are two major components of STRs associated with student's academic and behavioral outcomes: closeness and conflict. Research has indicated that STRs characterized by closeness are linked to positive academic and behavior outcomes for students while STRs characterized by conflict are associated with negative academic and behavior outcomes for students. Although research has demonstrated that closeness and conflict have an impact on student outcomes, research on the impact in kindergarten is limited. This study examined the associations between STRs characterized by closeness and conflict with reading, mathematics, and behavior outcomes in kindergarten students (n = 97), as well as the moderating effects of gender on these relationships. Results of the full hierarchical regression models indicated that prior reading and mathematics achievement were the strongest predictors of reading and mathematics outcomes. Closeness did not account for any of the variance in reading, mathematics, or externalizing behavior outcomes. Conflict on the other hand, was a small significant predictor for reading and mathematics outcomes, and a large significant predictor for externalizing behavior outcomes. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.