Article

Social and school connectedness in early secondary school as predictors of late teenage substance use, mental health, and academic outcomes.

Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia. <>
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 05/2007; 40(4):357.e9-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.10.013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine associations between social relationships and school engagement in early secondary school and mental health, substance use, and educational achievement 2-4 years later.
School-based longitudinal study of secondary school students, surveyed at school in Year 8 (13-14-years-old) and Year 10 (16-years-old), and 1-year post-secondary school. A total of 2678 Year 8 students (74%) participated in the first wave of data collection. For the school-based surveys, attrition was <10%. Seventy-one percent of the participating Year 8 students completed the post-secondary school survey.
Having both good school and social connectedness in Year 8 was associated with the best outcomes in later years. In contrast, participants with low school connectedness but good social connectedness were at elevated risk of anxiety/depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR]: 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0, 1.76), regular smoking (OR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.4, 2.9), drinking (OR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.3, 2.2), and using marijuana (OR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.6, 2.5) in later years. The likelihood of completing school was reduced for those with either poor social connectedness, low school connectedness, or both.
Overall, young people's experiences of early secondary school and their relationships with others may continue to affect their moods, their substance use in later years, and their likelihood of completing secondary school. Having both good school connectedness and good social connectedness is associated with the best outcomes. The challenge is how to promote both school and social connectedness to best achieve these health and learning outcomes.

1 Bookmark
 · 
140 Views
  • The Journal of Early Adolescence 12/2014; 35(2):245-275. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: School connectedness and classroom environment have both been strongly linked to depressive symptoms, but their interrelation is unclear. We tested whether school connectedness mediated the link between classroom environment and depressive symptoms. A sample of 504 Australian seventh- and eighth-grade students completed the Classroom Environment Scale, Psychological Sense of School Membership scale, and Children's Depression Inventory, at three time points. Together, the classroom environment and school connectedness accounted for 41% to 45% of variance in concurrent depressive symptoms, and 14% of subsequent depressive symptoms with prior symptoms accounted for. Only a partial mediation was found, with both classroom environment and school connectedness continuing to contribute uniquely to the prediction of concurrent and subsequent depressive symptoms. These findings provide additional support for the idea that school-based pathways to depressive symptoms are a complex interplay between environment and individual difference variables, necessitating individual and environmental school-based interventions.
    Psychology in the Schools 02/2014; 51(5). · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Accumulating evidence suggests that several adult mental disorders, particularly psychoses, are preceded by impairments in cognitive function, reflected in scholastic underachievement. This study investigates the association between scholastic underachievement and general mental health problems in adolescence, using delay in school progression as a marker of poor scholastic performance.Method Cross-sectional secondary school survey comprising 10,803 adolescents. Participants completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to assess mental health problems. The association of delayed school progression with the SDQ was investigated using logistic regression with SDQ as outcome and delayed school progression as primary exposure of interest while adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics, adverse life events, school-related factors, risk taking behaviour, healthy lifestyle and physical health.ResultsUnadjusted analysis showed an association between delayed school progression and total mental health problems (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.27 ¿ 2.63) in adolescents. After adjusting for other risk factors (socio-demographic factors and life events) in a logistic regression model the association between delayed school progression en mental health problems was attenuated (OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.86 ¿ 2.05).Conclusion Delayed school progression is associated with general mental health problems in adolescence, but this relationship is heavily confounded by other factors. A causal relationship between impaired cognitive function such as poor scholastic performance and general mental health at adolescence is less likely and delayed school progression may merely be considered an indicator of risk for mental health problems.
    BMC Psychiatry 09/2014; 14(1):244. · 2.24 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
167 Downloads
Available from
May 29, 2014