The Influence of Student and Teacher Characteristics on Student-Teacher Closeness
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Close student-teacher relations correlate positively with students' academic, behavioral, and social competences. The present study examined predictors of student-teacher closeness, extending previous studies by including Asian Americans students as well as teacher beliefs about students in a multilevel analysis. Results indicated that students' race, gender, in-class behaviors, and academic achievement affected how close teachers felt to them. Teachers' race, grade taught, and beliefs about Asian students explained additional variance in closeness. Gender match and Black student-teacher racial match influenced teacher-perceived closeness. Furthermore, teacher beliefs about students moderated the association between race and closeness in expected ways. Findings showed that teachers display reliable individual differences in closeness, and race and beliefs are important in predicting student-teacher closeness.