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      A Non-bipartite Propensity Score Analysis of the Effects of Teacher–Student Relationships on Adolescent Problem and Prosocial Behavior

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          Previous research suggests a link between the quality of teacher–student relationships and the students’ behavioral outcomes; however, the observational nature of past studies makes it difficult to attribute a causal role to the quality of these relationships. In the current study, therefore, we used a propensity score analysis approach to evaluate whether students who were matched on their propensity to experience a given level of relationship quality but differed on their actual relationship quality diverged on their concurrent and subsequent problem and prosocial behavior. Student/self, teacher, and parent- (only waves 1–3) reported data from 8 waves of the Zurich Project on the Social Development of Children and Youths (z- proso), a longitudinal study of Swiss youth among a culturally diverse sample of 7- to 15-year-olds were utilized. The initial sample included 1483 (49.4  % female) students for whom information relevant for this study was available. The sample represented families from around 80 different countries, from across all the continents; with approximately 42 % of the female primary caregivers having been born in Switzerland. Following successful matching, we found that students who reported better relationships with their teachers and whose teachers reported better relationships with them evidenced fewer problem behaviors concurrently and up to 4 years later. There was also evidence for an analogous effect in predicting prosocial behavior. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to prevention and intervention practices.

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          Internationally Comparable Measures of Occupational Status for the 1988 International Standard Classification of Occupations

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              Social relationships and motivation in middle school: The role of parents, teachers, and peers.


                Author and article information

                J Youth Adolesc
                J Youth Adolesc
                Journal of Youth and Adolescence
                Springer US (New York )
                5 July 2016
                5 July 2016
                : 46
                : 8
                : 1661-1687
                [1 ]ISNI 0000000121885934, GRID grid.5335.0, Institute of Criminology, , University of Cambridge, ; Sidgwick Site, Cambridge, CB3 9DA UK
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2157 2938, GRID grid.17063.33, Department of Psychology, , University of Toronto, ; 100 St. George Street, 4th Floor, Sidney Smith Hall, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3 Canada
                [3 ]Bern, Switzerland
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2156 2780, GRID grid.5801.c, Crime Research Unit, Department of Sociology, , Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, ; Clausiusstrasse 59, RZ E 2, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
                © The Author(s) 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funded by: FundRef, Jacobs Foundation;
                Funded by: Swiss National Science Foundation
                Empirical Research
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                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017


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