Department of Educational Psychology


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk 18 (2013), pp. 193-211. doi: 10.1080110824669.2013.817932


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Students in residential treatment center (RTC) schools are likely to have histories of extreme or ongoing relational trauma (e.g., abuse and neglect by primary caregivers), have substantial interpersonal and relationship problems, and exhibit many high-risk behaviors. Accordingly, these students may have particular difficulty forming positive relationships with teachers, yet student-teacher relationship quality in RTC schools has not been empirically studied. This study examines links between RTC school students’ assessments of their relationships with teachers and their perceptions of self and others. Participants were 113 students in 2 RTC schools from 5th to 12th grade. Results indicate that male and female RTC students’ positive perceptions (of self and others) are linked to positive assessments of their relationships with teachers. However, for girls in RTC schools, negative perceptions of self are linked to less positive assessments of the teacher-student relationship. Implications are discussed.