Measuring students’ sense of connectedness with school

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Brew, Christine, Beatty, Brenda and Watt, Anthony P (2004) Measuring students’ sense of connectedness with school. In: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference, 28 Nov - 2 Dec, 2004, Melbourne, Australia.


The current emphasis on performance outcomes in schools has threatened to eclipse the importance of social connectedness as an antecedent to student success. Presented is an instrument designed to measure student sense of connectedness with school based on relevant dimensions provided in the literature: student sense of belonging, engagement, expected learning, and trust. Drawing on data from over 3,000 US students from six high schools, exploratory factor analysis yielded six latent factors based on 31 of 46 original items: students’ sense of belonging with peers; teacher support; fairness and safety; academic engagement; engagement in the broader community; and relatedness of self with school. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded acceptable preliminary fit measures. Preliminary path analyses suggest that students’ sense of relatedness with school mediates their relative propensity toward academic engagement, with the other factors antecedent. Schools seeking to obtain reliable measures of students’ sense of connectedness with school will find the instrument a valuable resource for prioritizing their efforts.

Item type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords student engagement, social connectedness, school connectedness, AARE
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