School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors among YouthReport as inadecuate

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Efforts to improve child and adolescent health typically have featured interventions designed to address specific health risk behaviors, such as tobacco use, alcohol and drug use, violence, gang involvement, and early sexual initiation. However, results from a growing number of studies suggest that greater health impact might be achieved by also enhancing protective factors that help children and adolescents avoid multiple behaviors that place them at risk for adverse health and educational outcomes. Enhancing protective factors also might buffer children and adolescents from the potentially harmful effects of negative situations and events, such exposure to violence. Protective factors include personal characteristics such as a positive view of one's future; life conditions such as frequent parental presence in the home at key times (e.g., after school, at dinner time); and behaviors such as active participation in school activities. School connectedness is a particularly promising protective factor. This publication defines and describes the components of school connectedness and identifies specific actions that schools can take to increase school connectedness. The six strategies outlined in this publication provide a framework for increasing students' connectedness to school. In combination with evidence-based health promotion programs, strategies such as these can help schools have the greatest impact on the health and education outcomes of their students.

Descriptors: School Activities, Health Promotion, Children, Adolescents, At Risk Persons, Risk Management, Individual Characteristics, Attitudes, Family Environment, Health Behavior, Well Being, Adults, Peer Influence, Educational Environment, Participative Decision Making, Family Involvement, Skill Development, Classroom Techniques, Teaching Methods, Professional Development, Trust (Psychology), Student Motivation, Teacher Student Relationship

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333. Tel: 800-311-3435; Tel: 404-639-3311; Web site:

Author: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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