St-Amand J, Boily R, Bowen F, Smith J, Janosz M, Verner-Filion J. (2020). The development of the French version of the psychological sense of school membership (PSSM) questionnaire: An analysis of its structure, properties and potential for research with at-risk students. Interdisciplinary Education and Psychology. 2(3): 3.
Introduction : As it plays an important role in students’ adjustment, and positively impacts their motivation and academic success, school belonging seems to be a pivotal determinant of the overall quality of a school experience. However, measuring such a belonging and estimating its contribution to the overall quality of school adjustment remain a challenge for the scientific community. Method : Thus, the French version of the Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) questionnaire was tested to determine its latent structure, validity, and capacity to predict dropout among at-risk students. In Study 1, the French version of the PSSM scale was thoroughly analyzed for validity while performing exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and multigroup confirmatory factor analysis on selfreported data provided by a sample of high school students. In study 2, answers of a particular sample of at-risk students were carefully analyzed with ANOVAS to determine the potential of the PSSM to predict high school dropout. Results : The exploratory factor analysis and the confirmatory factor analysis revealed four predominant dimensions: (1) teacher-student relationships; (2) peers’ relationships; (3) sense of acceptance; and (4) sense of attachment, while the multigroup confirmatory factor analysis revealed the PSSM to be partially invariant with regards to the gender of the participants. In Study 2, we found that the PSSM can be used as a tool to help identify students who are at risk of dropping out of school. Conclusion : Strategies to develop students’ school belonging are discussed.