Award Date

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education, School Psychology, and Human Services

First Committee Member

Samuel Song

Second Committee Member

Scott Loe

Third Committee Member

Tiberio Garza

Fourth Committee Member

Katherine Lee

Number of Pages



The importance of student-teacher relationships is well established. However, research suggests that students in special education tend to experience lower quality student-teacher relationships than their peers in general education. Of particular importance is the developing research indicating that students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBDs), and especially females, are at the highest risk of poor relationships with teachers. The purpose of this study is to examine whether the presence of an emotional disturbance (ED) label may impact teachers’ perceptions of relationships with adolescents who exhibit behavior that meets ED criteria. A correlational research design with a between-subjects analysis of the data will be used to examine this issue. The study utilizes the cultural ecological framework and a social justice lens to better understand the results and differences between teacher attitudes toward students with and without the ED label and across genders.


Emotional disturbance; Label bias; Student-teacher relationships; Teacher perceptions


Educational Psychology | Special Education and Teaching

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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