Kelli Smith


This study focused on teacher communication behaviors and teacher-student interactions in the middle school setting as they relate to teacher-student relationships. Thirty-seven teachers and 218 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students participated in this explanatory sequential mixed methods study. The Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI) survey was employed to measure ideal teacher communication behaviors and actual teacher communication behaviors in the middle school classroom. Implications for middle school education are discussed, including recommendations for future study with communication behaviors and teacher-student relationships.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


teacher-student relationships, communication behaviors, teacher care, preadolescent students

Full Text:



Allen, J., Gregory, A., Mikami, A., Lun, J., Hamre, B., & Pianta, R. (2013). Observations of effective teacher-student interactions in secondary school classrooms: Predicting student achievement with the classroom assessment scoring system-secondary. School Psychology Review, 42(1), 76-98.

Anderson, D. H., Nelson, J. A., Richardson M., Webb, N., & Young, E. L. (2011). Using dialogue journals to strengthen the student-teacher relationship: A comparative case study. College Student Journal. 45(2), 269-287.

Andrews, C., & Bishop, P. (2012). Middle grades transition programs around the globe. Middle School Journal, 44(1), 8-14.

Bush, S., & Godden, E. (2019). Relationship-building from day one: A simple technique to build rapport and recognise new students’ needs. Impact (2514-6955), 5, 22–23.

Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed-methods research (2nd ed), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Costa Johansen, T. A. (2017). Teacher-level factors that influence student discipline decisions, or “you can’t back a middle school kid into the corner” [ProQuest Information & Learning]. In Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences (Vol. 77, Issue 10–A(E)).

Donker, M. H., Vemde, L. van, Hessen, D. J., Gog, T. van, & Mainhard, T. (2021). Observational, student, and teacher perspectives on interpersonal teacher behavior: Shared and unique associations with teacher and student emotions. Learning and Instruction, 73.

Daniels, E. & Arapostathis, M. (2005). What do they really want? Students’ voices and motivational research. Urban Education, 40(1), 34-59.

Eupena, R. G. (2012). Teacher communication behavior: It’s impact to the students’ attitude in learning science. International Journal of Social Sciences, 3(1), 147-163.

Ferreira, M. M., & Bosworth, K. (2001). Defining caring teachers: Adolescents’ perspectives. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 36(1), 24-30.

Fefer, S. A., & Gordon, K. (2020). Exploring Perceptions of School Climate among Secondary Students with Varying Discipline Infractions. International Journal of School & Educational Psychology, 8(3), 174–183.

Fraser, B. J., Aldridge, J. M., & Soerjaningsih, W. (2010). Instructor-student interpersonal interaction and student outcomes at the university level in Indonesia. The Open Education Journal, 3(1), 21-33.

Gehlbach, H., Brinkworth, M. E., & Harris, A. D. (2012). Changes in teacher-student relationships. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(4), 690-704.

Gutierrez, A. S., Buckley, K. H., & Transforming Education. (2019). Stories from the Field: Building Strong Teacher-Student Relationships in the Classroom. In Transforming Education. Transforming Education.

Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2006). Student-Teacher Relationships. In G. G. Bear & K. M. Minke (Eds.), Children's needs III: Development, prevention, and intervention (p. 59–71). National Association of School Psychologists.

Ibrahim, A., & El Zataari, W. (2020). The teacher–student relationship and adolescents’ sense of school belonging. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), 382–395.

Kesner, J. E. (2000). Teacher characteristics and the quality of child-teacher relationships. Journal of School Psychology, 28(2), 133-149.

Kvale, S. & Brinkmann, S. (2009) InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing (2nd ed), London: Sage Publications.

Leary, T. (1957). Interpersonal diagnosis of personality: A functional theory and methodology for personality evaluation. Ronald Press.

Lewis, C., Enciso, P., & Moje, E. B. (2009). Reframing sociocultural research on literacy: Identity, agency, and power. New York, NY: Routledge.

Martinez, R. S., Aricak, O. T., Graves, M. N., Peters-Myszak, J., & Nellis, L. (2011). Changes in perceived social support and socioemotional adjustment across the elementary to junior high school transition. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 40(5), 519- 530.

Newcomer, S. N. (2018). Investigating the Power of Authentically Caring Student-Teacher Relationships for Latinx Students. Journal of Latinos & Education, 17(2), 179–193.

Pennings, H. J. M., & Hollenstein, T. (2020). Teacher-Student Interactions and Teacher Interpersonal Styles: A State Space Grid Analysis. Journal of Experimental Education, 88(3), 382–406.

Sakiz, G., Pape, S. J., & Hoy, A. W. (2012). Does perceived teacher affective support matter for middle school students in mathematics classrooms? Journal of School Psychology, 50(2), 235-255.

Shukla, K. D., Kuril, S., & Chand, V. S. (2020). Does negative teacher behavior influence student self-efficacy and mastery goal orientation? Learning and Motivation, 71.

Tosolt, B. (2009). Middle school students’ perceptions of caring teacher behaviors: Differences by minority status. The Journal of Negro Education, 78(4), 405-416.

Woolley, M. E., Strutchens, M. E., Gilbert, M. C., & Martin, W. G. (2010). Mathematics success of black middle school students: Direct and indirect effects of teacher expectations and reform practices. The Negro Education Review, 61(1-4), 41-59.

Wubbels, T., Brekelmans, M., den Brok, Pl, van Tartwijk, J. (2006). An interpersonal perspective on classroom management in secondary classrooms in the Netherlands. Handbook of classroom management: research, practice and contemporary issues, pp. 1161 – 1191.

Wubbels, T., Levy, J., & Brekelmans, M. (1997). Paying attention to relationships. Educational Leadership, 54(7), 82-86.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Kelli Smith

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).