Assessing client-caregiver relationships and the applicability of the 'student-teacher relationship scale' for people with intellectual disabilities

John M. Roeden*, Marian A. Maaskant, Helma M. Y. Koomen, Math J. J. M. Candel, Leopold M. G. Curfs

*Corresponding author for this work

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Improvements in client-caregiver relationships may lead to improvements in the quality of life of clients with intellectual disabilities (ID). For this reason, interventions aimed at influencing these relationships are important. To gain insight into the nature and intention of these relationships in the ID population, suitable measurement instruments are needed. This study examines the applicability of an existing relationship questionnaire designed for primary education, called the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS) on the basis of the following research questions: (1) What is the factor structure of the STRS? (2) Are there associations between STRS scales and other conceptually comparable instruments? (3) Is the STRS reliable? The participants in this study were 46 caregivers, who assessed 350 client-caregiver relationships. Psychometric research was conducted into the factor structure (n = 350), construct validity (n = 146), internal consistency (n = 350) and test-retest reliability (n = 177) of the SIRS and the reliability of the individual scores (n = 350) among a study population of people with moderate and severe ID. The three-factor model of the STRS as used in primary education (1. closeness, 2. conflict, 3. dependency) was, despite minor deviations, also found in the ID population. Research into the construct validity of the STRS showed statistically significant correlations with other scales with which similarities could be expected. The internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the STRS in the population studied were very good. The 95% confidence intervals of the means were small, and these measurements can be regarded as reliable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-110
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Client-Caregiver relationships
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Student-Teacher relationship scale
  • Psychometric qualities


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