chapter  35
12 Pages

Enhancing School Connectedness to Prevent Violence and Promote Well-Being

ByIan M. Shochet, Coral L. Smith

School connectedness is “the extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment” (Goodenow, 1993, p. 80). It is an important predictor of school violence, as well as related outcomes such as health risk behaviors and mental health. Connectedness reduces initial incidents of violence, buff ers the eff ect of violence exposure, and promotes an anti-bullying culture. School violence and bullying have also been associated with a subsequent decrease in school connectedness. Several theories contribute to our understanding of these relations but the construct, theoretical underpinnings, and pathways in and out of school connectedness require further examination. Despite numerous promising interventions, this line of research is in its infancy. Interventions harnessing this protective factor may have a ubiquitous positive impact on adolescent development.