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Differential trust between parents and teachers of children from low-income and immigrant backgrounds

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This study was designed to investigate the trust relationship between parents and teachers in first grade. Additional research questions were whether trust was related to ethnicity and reading performance. The five facets of trust; benevolence, reliability, competence, honesty and openness, were measured on a 4-point Likert scale. Reading performance was measured by the three-minute test. Parents were found to have more trust in the reliability, competence and honesty of teachers than teachers in parents. Native-Dutch and immigrant parents have the same trust level towards their children’s teacher. However, teachers reported lower trust levels on all five facets of trust for immigrant parents. Our findings indicated that ethnicity has no influence on parents trust in teachers, but ethnicity may explain teachers’ trust in parents. Some support was found for the assumption that teachers’ trust plays a role in reading performance. Children were found to have higher reading performance when teachers reported higher trust in the benevolence and openness of parents.

Keywords: education; ethnicity; reading; trust

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Special Education,Faculty of Social Science, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2: Educational Counseling Services, Marant Nijmegen, The Netherlands 3: Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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