European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 409–428 | Cite as

Teacher–student relationship and academic achievement: a cross-lagged longitudinal study on three different age groups

  • Katja KoširEmail author
  • Sara Tement


Although the relation between teacher–student relationship and academic achievement has been addressed in many studies, the reciprocal relations between these two constructs have not been explored sufficiently. The aim of the present study was to test three competing models that hypothesized directionality of influence in relations between teacher acceptance, student-perceived teacher support, and academic achievement. Eight hundred sixteen students from 3 different grade levels in Slovenian elementary and secondary schools, covering the age range from late childhood through early-to-middle adolescence, participated in the study at the beginning and at the end of the school year. Structural equation modeling was used. Different models of relations between teacher acceptance, student-perceived teacher support, and academic achievement were analyzed using the cross-lagged panel correlation technique. The results supported the hypothesized reciprocal model, indicating the relation between teacher acceptance and academic achievement in both directions. Student-perceived teacher personal support partially mediates the relation between teacher acceptance and achievement in both directions on the whole sample but not in specific age groups. Finally, we found some age-specific differences in the relations between teacher acceptance, teacher personal support, and achievement.


Teacher–student relationship Teacher acceptance Teacher support Academic achievement Structural equation modeling 



We would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive input on previous versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of ArtsUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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