Students exhibiting challenging externalizing behaviors may benefit from supportive interactions with teachers. However, if students show high levels of externalizing behaviors, this may negatively impact on student- teacher interactions, and vice versa. We therefore examined bidirectional developmental links between student- teacher interactions and externalizing behavior of male adolescents placed in special education because of psychiatric disabilities. Participants were 584 adolescents (Mage = 15.0 years, SD = 1.7) and their teachers from 14 Dutch special education schools. At 3 time points, student-reports of student-teacher interactions and teacher- reports of adolescents' externalizing behavior were collected. Using autoregressive cross-lagged models, results indicate that externalizing behavior predicted decreases in supportive interactions (β = -09, p = .02), but not in negative interactions. Student-teacher interactions did not show a significant influence on externalizing behavior. Our results highlight externalizing behavior as an important target for interventions intended to improve student- teacher interactions.
- special education procedures
- student-teacher relationships