Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Dissertation (UNI Access Only)


Teacher-student relationships; High school teachers--Psychology;


The nature of teacher-student relationship impacts students’ personal, social, and academic well-being. The purpose of this study was to identify teacher variables that lead to successful relationships with students. More specifically, the study investigated these research questions: (1) What makes teachers successful in cultivating positive relationships with their students?; (2) What is the relationship between teachers’ influence and proximity to students’ interest and engagement?; (3) What specific components of a teacher-student relationship are important within the classroom environment? This was a qualitative research design that used semi-structured interviews and classroom observations to collect data. The participants consisted of four high school teachers with varying degrees of experience and four high school seniors. Data were analyzed using the Interpretative Constant Comparative method (Merriam, 2009). Findings showed that teachers who were successful at building and maintaining successful relationships with students possessed certain characteristics and skills including the ability to communicate clearly, setting reasonably high expectations, showing care, concern and compassion for students, and being fair and open-minded. In addition, four themes emerged from the data. Implications of the findings for preservice and service teachers, administrators, teacher educators as well as for future research directions are provided.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Radhi Al-Mabuk, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 171 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download