Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Professor Andrew Lindner
How do teachers contribute to the growing racial disparities in school discipline? Previous research indicates that teachers influence students’ academic and social outcomes, but how do they also influence the rates at which different student racial groups get disciplined? This study uses data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (N = 10051) to examine the relationship between student-teacher relationships, supportive teachers and discipline. I propose the following hypotheses: (1) students who get along well with their teachers will be less likely to be disciplined than students who do not, (2) students who perceive their teachers to be supportive will be less likely to be disciplined than students who do not, and (3) the strength of these relationships will be stronger for students of color than White students. Findings of the multivariate analysis indicate that students with higher levels of agreement that they get along well with and feel supported by their teachers have lower rates of discipline; however, the findings also show that the strength of the relationship between discipline and supportive teachers is stronger for non-Black POC students than White students, whereas the strength of the relationship between discipline and student-teacher relationships is stronger for White students than Black and non-Black POC students. Results indicate that when students perceive teachers as caring and respectful, discipline rates are lower. This study highlights why educators should acknowledge the importance of teachers in the socialization process and encourage positive student-teacher relationships as a way to heighten student attachment to school.
Ramsay, Ashley, "Student Misbehavior: The Role of Student-Teacher Relationships and Supportive Teachers in Reducing Racial Disparities in School Discipline" (2020). Sociology Senior Seminar Papers. 54.