Teacher-child relationships and academic achievement: A multilevel propensity score model approach

Meghan P. McCormick, Erin E. O'Connor, Elise Cappella, Sandee G. McClowry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A robust body of research finds positive cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between teacher-child relationships and children's academic achievement in elementary school. Estimating the causal effect of teacher-child relationships on children's academic achievement, however, is challenged by selection bias at the individual and school level. To address these issues, we used two multilevel propensity score matching approaches to estimate the effect of high-quality teacher-child relationships in kindergarten on math and reading achievement during children's transition to first grade. Multi-informant data were collected on 324 low-income, Black and Hispanic students, and 112 kindergarten and first-grade teachers. Results revealed significant effects of high-quality teacher-child relationships in kindergarten on math achievement in first grade. No significant effects of teacher-child relationships were detected for reading achievement. Implications for intervention development and public policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-624
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Achievement
  • Causal inference
  • Methodology
  • Teacher-child relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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