Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Caron Clark

Second Advisor

Eric Buhs

Date of this Version



Madison, K. R., (2021). An Intersectionality Framework on the Role of Student-Teacher Relationships on Student Social Outcomes. A Dissertation. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Psychological Studies in Education (Cognition, Learning & Development), Under the Supervision of Professors Caron Clark and Eric Buhs. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2021

Copyright © 2021 Kenji R. Madison


This research aimed to build on the great wealth of knowledge on student-teacher relationships, social competence, and peer outcomes while utilizing a different approach integrating race and gender. The view of intersectionality may influence those who join in reading this research to consider race coupled with student gender as a strong influence affecting the formation of a relationship as instrumental as the student-teacher relationship.

In a sample of 10,886 (8489 White, 2397 Black) students from third to fifth grade, the research completed three aims: characterizing the relationship between teacher rated closeness and conflict and students’ social outcomes in fourth and fifth grades; to establish whether the students’ race and gender contributed to student-teacher closeness and conflict and their mediating effect on students’ outcomes; to determine whether there was a mediating role of students’ social self-perception in the fourth grade on the effects of third-grade teacher-rated closeness and conflict on fifth-grade social outcomes. The following findings emerged from the study: (a) there is a longitudinal effect of early student-teacher relationships on longitudinal social outcomes; (b) Black boys and girls experience adverse variability in student-teacher relationships; (c) student-teacher relationships do not relate to Black students’ views on social self-perception; (d) social self-perception mediates teacher-rated conflict and social outcomes in the fifth grade; (e) the view of intersectionality is supported. The findings represent a unique contribution from a perspective of intersectionality applied within the classroom context, considering the power dynamic between the teacher and the student and its influence on social outcomes.

Advisors: Caron Clark & Eric Buhs