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Teacher-student relationship as a protective factor for socioeconomic status, students’ self-efficacy and achievement: a multilevel moderated mediation analysis

Abstract

This study examined whether the teacher-student relationship (TSR) served as a protective factor for students from families of lower socioeconomic status (SES). It was based on data from a standard mathematics assessment and survey using student and teacher questionnaires that were developed by the Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment toward Basic Education Quality (CICA-BEQ) in China in 2016, which included 8707 fourth-grade Chinese students nested within 164 classes. We used multilevel structural equation models (MSEM) to investigate the mediating role of self-efficacy in mathematics in the relationship between SES and mathematics achievement and the moderating role of TSR in the direct and indirect relationship between SES and mathematics achievement at both the student-level and the class-level. The results suggested that the effect of SES on mathematics achievement was mediated by academic self-efficacy in mathematics both at the student-level and the class-level. The results also demonstrated a significant interaction between TSR and SES for self-efficacy both at the student-level and the class-level. Additionally, statistics indicated that TSR moderated the indirect relationship between SES and achievement via academic self-efficacy in mathematics.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment toward Basic Education Quality but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment toward Basic Education Quality.

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Acknowledgements

The collection of the data used in the present study was funded by the Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment Toward Basic Education Quality (CICA-BEQ) at Beijing Normal University.

Funding

This article is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (32071091);

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 4 Items of self-efficacy in mathematics
Table 5 Items of teacher-student relationships (TSR)

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Liu, H., Liu, Q., Du, X. et al. Teacher-student relationship as a protective factor for socioeconomic status, students’ self-efficacy and achievement: a multilevel moderated mediation analysis. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01598-7

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Keywords

  • Academic self-efficacy in mathematics
  • Mathematics achievement
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Teacher-student relationship