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School belongingness and mental health functioning across the primary-secondary transition in a mainstream sample: Multi-group cross-lagged analyses
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Centre for Research into Disability and Society, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD. School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, and School of Pharmacy, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
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2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 6(e99576), 1-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The relationship between school belongingness and mental health functioning before and after the primary-secondary school transition has not been previously investigated in students with and without disabilities. This study used a prospective longitudinal design to test the bi-directional relationships between these constructs, by surveying 266 students with and without disabilities and their parents, 6-months before and after the transition to secondary school. Cross-lagged multi-group analyses found student perception of belongingness in the final year of primary school to contribute to change in their mental health functioning a year later. The beneficial longitudinal effects of school belongingness on subsequent mental health functioning were evident in all student subgroups; even after accounting for prior mental health scores and the cross-time stability in mental health functioning and school belongingness scores. Findings of the current study substantiate the role of school contextual influences on early adolescent mental health functioning. They highlight the importance for primary and secondary schools to assess students' school belongingness and mental health functioning and transfer these records as part of the transition process, so that appropriate scaffolds are in place to support those in need. Longer term longitudinal studies are needed to increase the understanding of the temporal sequencing between school belongingness and mental health functioning of all mainstream students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 6(e99576), 1-10 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Humanities
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URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25389DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099576ISI: 000338280800014PubMedID: 24967580Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84903381636Local ID: HHJCHILDISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-25389DiVA: diva2:773337
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2016-11-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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