Jenna Whitehead – Final MA Defence (HDLC)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 – 14:00 – 16:00

Title:  Investigating Factor Structure and Validity Evidence of a Measure Assessing Students’ Perceptions of Teachers’ Social and Emotional Competence

Scarfe Library Block, room 271

Examining Committee:

Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Research Supervisor

Dr. Martin Guhn, Committee Member

Dr. Robert Roeser, External Examiner


This study introduces the Students’ Perceptions of Teacher SEC scale (TSEC) for early adolescents and presents psychometric findings regarding its reliability and validity. A sample of 260 students in 5th to 7th grade provided data on the TSEC and measures of optimism, empathy, positive affect, satisfaction with life, anxious symptoms, depressive symptoms, school adjustment, as well as measures of their teachers’ emotional and personal support. Teachers provided data on students’ social and emotional competence and aggression, as well as quality of each student-teacher relationship (i.e., closeness, conflict). The TSEC had a unidimensional factor structure and high internal consistency. Scores on the TSEC differed by gender and grade-level, with girls and younger grades reporting higher scores on the TSEC. The TSEC demonstrated evidence of convergent validity, suggesting it is a psychometrically sound instrument for use with this age group. This study provides insight into relation of students’ perceptions of teacher SEC to student social and academic outcomes, and the student-teacher relationship. Limitations and future directions are discussed.