9 Relationships Between Teachers and Children

Educational Psychology

  1. Terri J. Sabol PhD1,
  2. Robert C. Pianta PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop207009

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Sabol, T. J. and Pianta, R. C. 2012. Relationships Between Teachers and Children. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 7:9.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Virginia, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, Charlottesville, VA, USA

  2. 2

    University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Theoretical and empirical work on relationships between teachers and children relies on developmental systems theory as the foundational conceptual model, drawing heavily from basic science work in social development as well as efforts in education and prevention science. Within the past decade, a focus on relational and interactive processes to support children's development within the classroom setting has proliferated, with multiple disciplines and fields engaging in research on relationship quality in the classroom. In effort to update the current conceptual framework and continue the necessary integration between disciplines, this chapter addresses four critical areas: (1) concordance between children's relationships with teachers and parents; (2) the association between teacher-child relationships and child outcomes across the school-age years; (3) the moderating role of teacher-child relationships on children's development; and (4) training teachers from a relational perspective. Each of these four areas of research is examined in light of recent findings and considers new areas that have implications for the further understanding the nature and impacts of relationships between teachers and children.


  • relationships;
  • teachers;
  • teacher-student interaction;
  • classroom processes;
  • teacher effectiveness