Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Due to the diversification of school systems, schools are being challenged to engage in more culturally responsive practices to meet the needs of diverse students. Therefore, this study utilized Gay’s (2002) model of culturally responsive teaching to assess the relationship between sociocultural factors and the academic competence and mental health of elementary-aged children. This study also aimed to investigate the mediating and moderating relationship that culturally responsive classroom practices play on children’s academic competence and mental health. One hundred thirty-one diverse parents (97.7%), and legal guardians (2.3%) with children in elementary school (Mage = 8.05) were recruited for participation through Prolific and social media. According to parents and legal guardians, culturally responsive teaching was positively associated with children’s prosocial behaviors but not directly related to academic competence, internalizing behaviors, and externalizing behaviors. Experiences of school discrimination were associated with mental health including internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Culturally responsive teaching served as a significant moderator in the relationship between discrimination and internalizing behaviors. Student-teacher ethnic match was not related to children’s academic competence and mental health; therefore, culturally responsive teaching was not examined as a potential mediator between this relationship. This study provides crucial information regarding cultural variables that should be emphasized through school professional development and educator practices. Further research should continue to examine the relationship between sociocultural school variables and student outcomes.

Committee Chair

Long, Anna C. J.



Available for download on Thursday, May 16, 2024