Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Tammy Gilligan

Tiffany Hornsby

Michele Kielty


Previous research has resulted in positive information regarding the student-teacher relationship and perceptions of student safety, from the perspective of adults. A number of studies have investigated relationship building and student safety, teacher characteristics, school connectedness, and perceptions of safety. However, previous studies have not included the stories and perceptions from students themselves. This study aims to use interviews conducted with middle school students to inform the perspective of middle school students on their student-teacher relationships and perceptions of school safety. Each participant was asked questions related to their feelings of safety at school, current relationships with teachers, their ideal student-teacher relationship, and how relationships with teachers impact their perception of safety. Data from the individual interviews were analyzed using narrative analysis to give meaning to the participants’ stories. Analysis of results examines common themes among participant responses in regard to their feelings of school safety as it relates to their relationships with teachers. Suggestions for future research and implications for school psychologists are included.



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