St-Amand J, Smith J, Rasmy A. (2021). Development and validation of a model predicting students’ sense of school belonging and engagement as a function of school climate. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 20(12), 64-84.
For many years, studies have explored the relationship between school belonging and engagement, two concepts that are associated with several positive outcomes. However, the relative influence that school climate may have on these components has received little attention. Based on the theoretical perspective of Janosz et al (1998), school belonging and engagement were examined as a function of multiple dimensions of school climate, and were tested across genders. The research took place in Morocco, and participants were 238 students from 9th grade (101 males, 137 females; Mage = 15.1) living in the cities of Casablanca and Témara. Students completed a questionnaire aimed at measuring school belonging, school engagement, and school climate. Correlational and structural equation modeling methods were used to analyze the aforementioned relationships. Results showed that only the climate of justice had a positive effect on school belonging, which, in turn, had a positive effect on the three types of school engagement. The multigroup analysis revealed the relation between school belonging and behavioral engagement to be partially invariant across genders. These results highlight the benefits of creating a positive school climate which can support students’ belonging and engagement.