Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Committee Chair

Rudasill, Kathy

Author's Keywords

RTC; Residential treatment; Efficacy; Relationship; Teacher; Student


Problem children--Education; Teacher-student relationships; Child psychotherapy--Residential treatment


This dissertation contributes to the existing body of research investigating teacher efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, academic efficacy, and teacher-student relationships within residential treatment centers (RTCs) for adolescents. While past RTC research identifies a link between positive resident outcomes and supportive relationships with RTC staff members, no prior studies have investigated this link from the perspective of classroom teachers. Additionally, although specialized trainings strengthen interpersonal relationships between RTC residents and staff members, most are directed toward therapeutic and milieu staff, not teachers. The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to examine whether teachers' individual and collective perceptions of teaching efficacy improved after a specialized training, (b) to identify whether students' perceptions of student-teacher relationship and academic efficacy improved after teachers received a specialized training, and (c) to examine whether individual and collective teacher efficacy has an association with student academic efficacy and the quality of the teacher-student relationship. One hundred seventy-four (boys N = 81, girls N = 93) adolescents enrolled at two different RTCs participated in this study. Several findings emerged: (a) separate trends in teacher efficacy appeared, teacher efficacy increased among teachers working with girls but decreased among those working with boys, (b) collective teacher efficacy among all teachers decreased after the training, (c) no differences in student academic efficacy occurred over time, (d) no differences in students' perceptions of the student-teacher relationship occurred over time, (e) students whose teachers had lower individual but higher collective efficacy scores had higher student-teacher relationship scores, and (f) student academic efficacy was not related to individual or collective teacher efficacy. This study showed that interactions between teachers and students in R TC settings are complex and multifaceted processes. Many results were inconsistent with prior studies, which have primarily examined students in non-RTC settings. This dissertation further emphasizes the need for continued research with students placed in RTCs. Implications for future research include the design of specialized trainings for RTC teachers, the enhancement of efficacy beliefs among RTC teachers and students, and the impact of gender and attachment traits (among both students and teachers) upon efficacy beliefs and teacher-student relationships.