The transition to middle school presents many educational changes for students during the time of adolescent development, with potential long-term effects if not navigated successfully. The first objective of this study was to examine the association of school connectedness with academic achievement (measured by grade point average), gender, ethnic congruency, family support, and other individual and school-level characteristics. This study focused on differences in school connectedness and academic achievement of students in grade 6 from different school settings (i.e., primary or middle school). The second objective of this study was to compare results for three different categorizations of primary and middle schools. Data from two survey administration years (2007 and 2010) of the Minnesota Student Survey was used to evaluate the school connectedness of students in grade 6 (N = 72,277) from 396 schools. Hierarchical linear modeling results highlight the impact of protective factors on school connectedness (i.e., family support) and academic achievement (i.e., family support and school connectedness) as well as significant differences in school connectedness for students who transitioned to middle school. Results were also robust to school-type categorization differences, resulting in fairly similar results across models and school-type definition.
Plan B Paper. Quantitative Methods in Education. Department of Educational Psychology. College of Education and Human Development. This paper utilizes data from the Minnesota Student Survey associated with the Minnesota Youth Development Research Group.
Karl, Stacy R..
The Role of School Connectedness in the Adolescent Transition to Middle School.
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