Middle school students' sense of belonging and its relationship to their level of social skills and other predictor variables

Date of Completion

January 2002


Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology




The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between middle school students' sense of belonging, as measured by the Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale (Goodenow, 1993) (PSSMS), and those same students' social skills as measured by the Social Skills Rating System (Elliot & Gresham, 1990) (SSRS). Additionally, this study also investigated the relationship between middle school students' sense of belonging as measured by the PSSMS, and the frequency with which the students were bullied, as measured by the bully items on the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children survey (HBSB). This study took place in the Spring of 2001 at two New England elementary schools. The goal of this study was to expand recent findings, which suggest that learning is influenced by the social context in which it takes place, and to offer insights into the processes that underlie the establishment of the sense of belonging. ^ To address the research questions, a correlational research design was employed. A multiple regression analyses was used to examine to what extent social skill, gender, type of school, grade level, and frequency of being bullied were predictors for sense of belonging. Findings indicated that social skills, type of school, and bullying were statistically significant predictors of sense of belonging. ^