Award Date

December 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education

First Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Second Committee Member

Wendy Rodgers

Third Committee Member

Heather Van Ness

Fourth Committee Member

Wendy Hoskins

Number of Pages



Experiencing stress at high levels during pivotal developmental years can have a detrimental impact on adolescents’ overall development and well-being (Rahdar & Galvan, 2014; Romeo, 2013). Extensive research has shown the positive effects a strong student-teacher relationship has on students’ resiliency to counteract the negative effects of stress (Akin & Radford, 2018; Johnson, 2008; Masten et al., 2008; Mulloy, 2011; Sanders et al., 2016; Stewart & Sun, 2004). Unfortunately, these studies rarely include students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Students with EBD are more likely to have higher levels of stress, lower levels of resilience and often struggle forming a positive relationship with their teachers, placing them at a greater risk of the negative effects of stress (Cullinan & Sabornie, 2004; Lambert et al., 2021; Murray & Greenberg, 2001; Offerman et al., 2022). The current study filled the research gap by exploring the relationship between stress, resilience, and students’ relationship with their teachers among students with EBD. A convergent sequential mixed methods design was used to explore the intersection of stress, resiliency, and student-teacher relationships among self-contained high school students with EBD. Participants included high school students with EBD (n = 5) and their teachers (n = 5). Student participants completed the Shortened Version of the Adolescents Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-S; Anniko et al., 2018) to measure their current stress levels, the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM-R; 2018) to measure their resiliency, and the student version of the Teacher-Student Relationship Inventory (S-TSRI; Ang et al., 2020) to measure their relationship with their teacher. Teacher participants completed the Teacher-Student Relationship Inventory (T-TSRI; Ang, 2005) to measure their relationship with their student participating in the study. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the variables, all student and teacher participants participated in semi-structured individual interviews. The results of this study contribute to the existing literature which suggests adolescents most frequently stress about school performance and their future (Anniko et al., 2018; De Anda et al., 2000; Epplemann et al., 2016). The results of this study also show that students with EBD and their teachers perceived their relationship similarly and identified similar characteristics to describe their student-teacher relationship. These findings contribute to the research as the first study to explore the intersection of these variables with students with EBD. Although the results of this study were not statistically significant, data suggest a strong, positive linear relationship between stress, student-teacher relationship, and student resiliency. Further research with a larger sample size is needed to continue to explore the intersection and impact of these variables among students with EBD.


emotional and behavioral disorders; mixed methods; resiliency; stress; student-teacher relationships


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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