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Research,  December 13, 2004

Attachment, Bonding, Connectedness, and Engagement: What Do They Mean and How are They Measured?

"In the September issue of the Journal of School Health, Heather Libbey identifies the various concepts and assessment tools researchers use to measure student attachment to school. Among them she finds nine main themes: academic engagement, belonging, discipline and fairness, liking for school, student voice, extracurricular activities, peer relations, safety, and teacher support. A summary of the article is on CASEL’s web site at, along with summaries of five related studies in the September issue of the Journal of School Health. The additional studies cover:

Why we harass nerds and freaks: A formal theory of student culture and norms; The importance of bonding to school for healthy development; Relationships matter: Linking teacher support to student engagement and achievement; School connectedness and the transition into and out of health-risk behaviors among adolescents; The interface of school climate and school connectedness.

Shane Jimerson and colleagues also provide an overview of definitions and measures related to school engagement in their recent article in the California School Psychologist. They stress three dimensions of school engagement—affective, behavioral, and cognitive. You can read the Jimerson article and the entire special issue of California School Psychologist (seven articles on “School Engagement, Youth Development, and School Success”) on the journal’s web site at"

Referred by: CASEL Connections E-Newsletter
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 13, 2004 | Research