Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology: School Psychology

First Advisor

Alycia M Hund


Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) can be used as a framework to examine the importance of communication and collaboration among parents and teachers as both are important stakeholders in the field of education. Parent-teacher relationships are critical for autistic students particularly due to individualized education plans and the provision of special education services (IDEA, 2004). The current study examined relationships between parent-teacher dyads in terms of congruence, the degree to which both parties are in agreement about their relationship. This study was unique in its mixed methods design, combining quantitative and qualitative data, as well as its use of dyadic data. Wave 1 acquired quantitative data regarding a predictive model, with school climate and teacher efficacy as the predictor variables and relationship congruence as the outcome variable. School climate, and parent trust in particular, was found to significantly predict parent-teacher relationship congruence, but teacher efficacy did not predict congruence. Additionally, Wave 2 acquired qualitative data further describing the parent-teacher relationship. Notable findings include key components of positive parent-teacher congruence (e.g., collaboration and realistic expectations), barriers to positive parent-teacher congruence (e.g., adversarial attitudes and access to services), and additional contextual themes (e.g., communication logistics). Implications for educators and school psychologists are discussed, including professional development and school wide practices.


Imported from Johnson_ilstu_0092E_12253.pdf


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