A prospective study investigating the impact of school belonging factors on negative affect in adolescents

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Shochet, IM
Smith, CL
Furlong, MJ
Homel, R
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2011
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Abstract

School belonging, measured as a unidimensional construct, is an important predictor of negative affective problems in adolescents, including depression and anxiety symptoms. A recent study found that one such measure, the Psychological Sense of School Membership scale, actually comprises three factors: Caring Relations, Acceptance, and Rejection. We explored the relations of these factors with negative affect in a longitudinal study of 504 Australian Grade 7 and 8 students. Each school belonging factor contributed to the prediction of negative affect in cross-sectional analyses. Scores on the Acceptance factor predicted subsequent negative affect for boys and girls, even controlling for prior negative affect. For girls, the Rejection factor was also significant in the prospective analysis. These findings have implications for the design of interventions and are further confirmation that school belonging should be considered a multidimensional construct.

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Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
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Cognitive and computational psychology
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