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J Interpers Violence. 2017 May;32(9):1421-1446. doi: 10.1177/0886260515588923. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Understanding the Role of School Connectedness and Its Association With Violent Attitudes and Behaviors Among an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Youth.

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1 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Hawai'i-Mānoa, Honolulu, USA.
2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawai'i-Mānoa, Honolulu, USA.


Interpersonal youth violence is a growing public health concern in the United States. Having a high sense of school connectedness has been found to be a protective factor for youth violence. A high school course that aims to enhance school connectedness was developed and evaluated to investigate the students' sense of school connectedness and its association with violent attitudes and behaviors. Survey data from 598 students from a predominately Asian and Pacific Islander student body were analyzed to assess their level of school connectedness and violent attitudes and behaviors. Analysis of Variance was used to identify differences in the school connectedness and violence scores related to students' demographic characteristics. The role of school connectedness in the relationship between student demographic characteristics and violent attitudes and behaviors was examined with structural equation modeling. Overall, students reported a moderately high sense of school connectedness. School connectedness was found to be negatively associated with violent attitudes but not self-reported violent behaviors. Multiple-group analyses were conducted across the ethnic groups, which found differential associations between the school connectedness and violence variables. These results highlight the value of disaggregating the Asian and Pacific Islander category and the need for future research to further contextualize and clarify the relationship between school connectedness and interpersonal youth violence. This will help inform the development of evidence-based strategies and prevention programming that focus on school connectedness to address disparities in interpersonal youth violence outcomes.


bullying; cultural contexts; mental health and violence; youth violence


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