Anastasia Vatou


Teacher-child relationships in early childhood are increasingly considered as a prerequisite for children’s development. The Child Appraisal of the Relationship with the Teacher Scale (CARTS) (Vervoot, Doumen, & Verschueren, 2015) is a new multidimensional measure that evaluates the quality of teacher-child relationships from the children’s perspective. The purpose of this study was to confirm the factor structure of the Dutch version of CARTS in the Greek context, to describe the perceptions of young children about their relationship with their teachers and to examine whether child’s age, gender, and ethnicity contribute to this relationship. In total, 366 children (Mage= 5.4) from 36 kindergarten of Greece participated in this study. Results supported the construct validity of the CARTS scale. CFA implementation, consistent with attachment-based research revealed the three dimensions of the teacher-children relationships, Closeness, Dependency and Conflict. Supportive and warmth relationships were found. Children’s demographics characteristics affect the quality of teacher-child relationships. The results highlighted the importance of the dyadic relationships.


teacher–child relationships, children’s perspectives, CARTS, early childhood, attachment

Full Text:



Ainsworth, M. D. (1972). Attachment and dependency: A comparison. In J. L. Gewirtz, Attachment and dependency. V. H. Winston & Sons.

Ang, R. P., Chong, W. H., Huan, V. S., Quek, C. L., & Yeo, L. S. (2008). Teacher—Student Relationship Inventory: Testing for invariance across upper elementary and junior high samples. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 26(4), 339-349.

Bentler, P. M. (1992). On the fit of models to covariance and methodology to the Bulletin. Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 400-404.

Birch, S. H., & Ladd, G. W. (1997). The teacher-child relationship and children's early school adjustment. Journal of School Psychology, 35(1), 61-79.

Birch, S. H., & Ladd, G. W. (1998). Children's interpersonal behaviors and the teacher–child relationship. Developmental Psychology, 34(5), 934.

Blankemeyer, M., Flannery, D. J., & Vazsonyi, A. T. (2002). The role of aggression and social competence in children's perceptions of the child–teacher relationship. Psychology in the Schools, 39(3), 293-304.

Bornstein, R. F. (2005). The dependent patient: A practitioner's guide. American Psychological Association.

Bosman, R. J., Roorda, D. L., van der Veen, I., & Koomen, H. M. Y. (2018). Teacher-student relationship quality for kindergarten to sixth grade and students’ school adjustment: A person centered approach. Journal of School Psychology, 68, 177–194.

Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books

Buyse, E., Verschueren, K., & Doumen, S. (2011). Preschoolers' attachment to mother and risk for adjustment problems in kindergarten: Can teachers make a difference?. Social Development, 20(1), 33-50.

Buyse, E., Verschueren, K., Doumen, S., Van Damme, J., & Maes, F. (2008). Classroom problem behavior and teacher-child relationships in kindergarten: The moderating role of classroom climate. Journal of School Psychology, 46(4), 367-391.

Casteel, C. A. (2000). African American students' perceptions of their treatment by Caucasian teachers. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 27(3), 143-143.

Davis, H. A. (2003). Conceptualizing the role of student-teacher relationships on children's social and cognitive development. Educational Psychologist, 38, 207-234.

De Wit, D. J., Karioja, K., & Rye, B. J. (2010). Student perceptions of diminished teacher and classmate support following the transition to high school: Are they related to declining attendance?. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 21(4), 451-472.

Doumen, S., Koomen, H. M., Buyse, E., Wouters, S., & Verschueren, K. (2012). Teacher and observer views on student–teacher relationships: Convergence across kindergarten and relations with student engagement. Journal of School Psychology, 50(1), 61-76.

Duffy, J., Warren, K., & Walsh, M. (2001). Classroom interactions: Gender of teacher, gender of student, and classroom subject. Sex Roles, 45(9-10), 579-593.

Eisenhower, A. S., Baker, B. L., & Blacher, J. (2007). Early student–teacher relationships of children with and without intellectual disability: Contributions of behavioral, social, and self-regulatory competence. Journal of School Psychology, 45(4), 363-383.

Ewing, A. R., & Taylor, A. R. (2009). The role of child gender and ethnicity in teacher–child relationship quality and children's behavioral adjustment in preschool. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 24(1), 92-105.

Gershenson, S., Hart, C. M. D., Lindsay, C. A., & Papageorge, N. W. (2017). The long run impacts of same-race teachers match (IZA DP No. 10630). Retrieved from

Gillen, A., Wright, A., & Spink, L. (2011). Student perceptions of a positive climate for learning: a case study. Educational Psychology in Practice, 27(1), 65-82.

Glüer, M., & Gregoriadis, A. (2017). Quality of teacher–child relationship and preschoolers’ pro-social behaviour in German kindergartens. Education 3-13, 45(5), 558-571.

Glüer, M., & Hannover, B. (2012). Observing quality of student–teacher relationships in elementary school classrooms: The Student–Teacher Relationship Observation Measurement (STROM). In Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Developmental Psychology (pp. 527-532). Medimond Srl Bologna, Italy.

Gregoriadis, A., & Grammatikopoulos, V. (2014). Teacher–child relationship quality in early childhood education: the importance of relationship patterns. Early Child Development and Care, 184(3), 386-402.

Gregoriadis, A., & Tsigilis, N. (2008). Applicability of the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS) in the Greek Educational Setting. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 26(2), 108-120.

Gregoriadis, A., Grammatikopoulos, V., Tsigilis, N., & Verschueren, K. (2020). Teachers’ and children’s perceptions about their relationships: examining the construct of dependency in the Greek sociocultural context. Attachment & Human Development, 1-16.

Gregoriadis, A., Tsigilis, N., Zachopoulou, E. & Grammatikopoulos V. (2020). “Assessing teacher-child relationships: a cultural context perspective.” In O. Saracho (ed.). Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children, 4rth ed. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

Griggs, M. S., Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Kidder‐Ashley, P., & Ballard, M. (2009). Student–teacher relationships matter: Moderating influences between temperament and preschool social competence. Psychology in the Schools, 46(6), 553-567.

Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2001). Early teacher–child relationships and the trajectory of children's school outcomes through eighth grade. Child development, 72(2), 625-638.

Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2005). Can instructional and emotional support in the first‐grade classroom make a difference for children at risk of school failure?. Child Development, 76(5), 949-967.

Hargreaves, A. (2000). Mixed emotions: Teachers’ perceptions of their interactions with students. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(8), 811-826.

Henricsson, L., & Rydell, A. M. (2006). Children with behaviour problems: The influence of social competence and social relations on problem stability, school achievement and peer acceptance across the first six years of school. Infant and child development, 15(4), 347-366.

Howes, C., Fuligni, A. S., Hong, S. S., Huang, Y. D., & Lara-Cinisomo, S. (2013). The preschool instructional context and child–teacher relationships. Early Education & Development, 24(3), 273-291.

Howes, C., Phillipsen, L. C., & Peisner-Feinberg, E. (2000). The consistency of perceived teacher–child relationships between preschool and kindergarten. Journal of School Psychology, 38(2), 113-132.

Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cut-off criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: a Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1-55.

Hughes, J. N. (2011). Longitudinal effects of teacher and student perceptions of teacher-student relationship qualities on academic adjustment. The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 38-60.

Hughes, J. N., Gleason, K. A., & Zhang, D. (2005). Relationship influences on teachers' perceptions of academic competence in academically at-risk minority and majority first grade students. Journal of School Psychology, 43(4), 303-320.

Hughes, K., Bullock, A., & Coplan, R. J. (2014). A person-centred analysis of teacher–child relationships in early childhood. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(2), 253-267.

Jellesma, F. C., Zee, M., & Koomen, H. M. (2015). Children's perceptions of the relationship with the teacher: Associations with appraisals and internalizing problems in middle childhood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 30-38.

Jerome, E. M., Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2009). Teacher–child relationships from kindergarten to sixth grade: Early childhood predictors of teacher‐perceived conflict and closeness. Social Development, 18(4), 915-945.

Koepke, M. F., & Harkins, D. A. (2008). Conflict in the classroom: Gender differences in the teacher–child relationship. Early Education and Development, 19(6), 843-864.

Koivula, M., Gregoriadis, A., Rautamies, E., & Grammatikopoulos, V. (2019). Finnish and Greek early childhood teachers’ perspectives and practices in supporting children’s autonomy. Early Child Development and Care, 189(6), 990-1003.

Koomen, H. M., Verschueren, K., van Schooten, E., Jak, S., & Pianta, R. C. (2012). Validating the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale: Testing factor structure and measurement invariance across child gender and age in a Dutch sample. Journal of School Psychology, 50(2), 215-234.

Ladd, G. W., Birch, S. H., & Buhs, E. S. (1999). Children's social and scholastic lives in kindergarten: Related spheres of influence?. Child Development, 70(6), 1373-1400.

Lewis, T. J., Jones, S. E. L., Horner, R. H., & Sugai, G. (2010). School-wide positive behavior support and students with emotional/behavioral disorders: implications for prevention, identification and intervention. Exceptionality, 18(2), 82-93.

Liu, P. P., Savitz-Romer, M., Perella, J., Hill, N. E., & Liang, B. (2018). Student representations of dyadic and global teacher-student relationships: Perceived caring, negativity, affinity, and differences across gender and race/ethnicity. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 54, 281-296.

Ly, J., Zhou, Q., Chu, K., & Chen, S. H. (2012). Teacher–child relationship quality and academic achievement of Chinese American children in immigrant families. Journal of School Psychology, 50(4), 535-553.

Lynch, M., & Cicchetti, D. (1992). Maltreated children's reports of relatedness to their teachers. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 1992(57), 81-107.

Mantzicopoulos, P. (2005). Conflictual relationships between kindergarten children and their teachers: associations with child and classroom context variables. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 425–442.

Mantzicopoulos, P., & Neuharth-Pritchett, S. (2003). Development and validation of a measure to assess head start children’s appraisals of teacher support. Journal of School Psychology, 41, 431–451.

Mi-young, L. W., & Neuharth-Pritchett, S. (2011). Examining factorial validity and measurement invariance of the Student–Teacher Relationship Scale. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(2), 205-215.

Murray, C., & Greenberg, M. T. (2000). Children's relationship with teachers and bonds with school an investigation of patterns and correlates in middle childhood. Journal of School Psychology, 38(5), 423-445.

Murray, C., Murray, K. M., & Waas, G. A. (2008). Child and teacher reports of teacher–student relationships: Concordance of perspectives and associations with school adjustment in urban kindergarten classrooms. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29(1), 49-61.

Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (1998-2017). Mplus [computer software]. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.

Neuhaus, R., McCormick, M., & O’Connor, E. (2020). The mediating role of child-teacher dependency in the association between early mother-child attachment and behavior problems in middle childhood. Attachment & Human Development, 1-17.

O’Connor, E. E., Dearing, E., & Collins, B. A. (2011). Teacher-child relationship and behavior problem trajectories in elementary school. American Educational Research Journal, 48(1), 120-162.

OECD (2013). Education at a glance 2013: OECD Indicator. OECD Publishing. Retrieved from

Papadopoulou, E., & Gregoriadis, A. (2017). Young children’s perceptions of the quality of teacher–child interactions and school engagement in Greek kindergartens. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 15(3), 323-335.

Pianta, R. C. (1999). Enhancing relationships between children and teachers. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Pianta, R. C. (2001). STRS, Student–Teacher Relationship Scale, Professional Manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources

Pianta, R. C., & Nimetz, S. L. (1991). Relationships between children and teachers: Associations with classroom and home behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 12(3), 379-393.

Pianta, R. C., Hamre, B., & Stuhlman, M. (2003). Relationships between teachers and children. Handbook of Psychology, 199-234.

Ready, D. D., & Wright, D. L. (2011). Accuracy and inaccuracy in teachers’ perceptions of young children’s cognitive abilities: The role of child background and classroom context. American Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 335-360.

Roorda, D. L., Koomen, H. M., Spilt, J. L., & Oort, F. J. (2011). The influence of affective teacher–student relationships on students’ school engagement and achievement: A meta-analytic approach. Review of Educational Research, 81(4), 493-529.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.

Rydell, A. M., Bohlin, G., & Thorell, L. B. (2005). Representations of attachment to parents and shyness as predictors of children's relationships with teachers and peer competence in preschool. Attachment & Human Development, 7(2), 187-204.

Sabol, T. J., & Pianta, R. C. (2012). Recent trends in research on teacher–child relationships. Attachment & Human Development, 14(3), 213-231.

Solheim, E., Berg-Nielsen, T. S., & Wichstrøm, L. (2012). The three dimensions of the Student–Teacher Relationship Scale: CFA validation in a preschool sample. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 30(3), 250-263.

Spilt, J. L., Koomen, H. M., & Mantzicopoulos, P. Y. (2010). Young children's perceptions of teacher–child relationships: An evaluation of two instruments and the role of child gender in kindergarten. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 31(6), 428-438.

Spilt, J. L., Vervoort, E., & Verschueren, K. (2017). Teacher-Child Dependency and Teacher Sensitivity Predict Engagement of Children with Attachment Problems. School Psychology Quarterly, 33(3), 419-427.

Stuhlman, M. W., & Pianta, R. C. (2002). Teachers' narratives about their relationships with children: Associations with behavior in classrooms. School Psychology Review, 31(2), 148-163.

Tenenbaum, H. R., & Ruck, M. D. (2007). Are teachers' expectations different for racial minority than for European American students? A meta-analysis. Journal of educational psychology, 99(2), 253-273.

Thijs, J., Koomen, H., Roorda, D., & ten Hagen, J. (2011). Explaining teacher–student interactions in early childhood: An interpersonal theoretical approach. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32(1), 34-43.

Tsigilis, N., Gregoriadis, A., & Grammatikopoulos, V. (2017). Evaluating the Student–Teacher Relationship Scale in the Greek educational setting: an item parcelling perspective. Research Papers in Education, 33(4),1-13.

Tsigilis, N., Gregoriadis, A., Grammatikopoulos, V., & Zachopoulou, E. (2018). Applying exploratory structural equation modeling to examine the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale in a representative Greek sample. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, article 733. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00733.

Van Dijk, M., De Graaff, K., Knotter, M., & Koster, J. (2006). [Does it click? The development of the KLIC-test to measure perceptions of the teacher–child relationship by five- to six-year old students]. Unpublished manuscript, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Vervoort, E., Bosmans, G., Doumen, S., Minnis, H., & Verschueren, K. (2014). Perceptions of self, significant others, and teacher–child relationships in indiscriminately friendly children. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(11), 2802-2811.

Vervoort, E., Doumen, S., & Verschueren, K. (2015). Children’s appraisal of their relationship with the teacher: Preliminary evidence for construct validity. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12(2), 243-–260.

Wentzel, K. R. (2002). Are effective teachers like good parents? Teaching styles and student adjustment in early adolescence. Child Development, 73(1), 287-301.

White, K. M. (2016). “My Teacher Helps Me”: Assessing Teacher-Child Relationships from the Child’s Perspective. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30(1), 29-41.

Wyrick, A. J., & Rudasill, K. M. (2009). Parent involvement as a predictor of teacher–child relationship quality in third grade. Early Education and Development, 20(5), 845-864.

Yarnell, L. M., & Bohrnstedt, G. W. (2018). Student-teacher racial match and its association with Black student achievement: An exploration using multilevel structural equation modeling. American Educational Research Journal, 55(2), 287-324.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Anastasia Vatou

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2018. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).