Examining relationships between first-grade achievement, student socioeconomic status, and student-teacher relationships
As recent literature has demonstrated, student-teacher relationships (STRs) and socioeconomic (SES) have been strongly associated with student academic achievement. This study was specifically interested in investigating the moderation effect between STRs and SES on academic achievement in addition to addressing the relationship between SES and academic achievement on STRs. Using a nationally representative dataset, the associations between these three variables of interest were investigated with regressions using Taylor series linearization and propensity score weighting. Results from the regression analyses demonstrated strong associations between the variables of interest including a statistically significant moderation effect between conflictual STRs and SES on both math and reading achievement. The propensity score weighting analysis demonstrated that when weighted on a variety of student-level covariates, there was a significant association between SES on STRs, where high SES students had closer and less conflictual STRs compared to low SES students. Based on these findings, it is important to continue exploring the intricate relationships between SES, STRs, and academic achievement as all of these variables strongly influence both student and teacher-level characteristics.
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