Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan


Little research has compared the student-teacher relationship between students with a disability and students with typical development. More specifically, the quality of the relationship between the student and the teacher. Measuring the amount of conflict, closeness, and how dependent the student is on their teacher within that relationship. Most relationships were viewed as negative by the teacher for students with a disability while most relationships with typically developing students were viewed as positive. These relationships showed less conflict, dependency, and higher levels of closeness. Developmental outcomes are examined in the present research in the areas of academic performance, behavior, and social/socioemotional affects. Outcomes differed across students with multiple disabilities due to the characteristics of their disability versus typically developing students. Overall, the general findings eluded to the idea that teachers have a crucial impact in the development of their students whether their relationship is positive or negative. A teacher training guidebook on how to create positive student-teacher relationships was created to help educate teachers to implement and form better relationships in their classrooms with all students.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis