School connectedness

Scale: The Hemingway Measure of Adolescent Connectedness — School Connectedness subscale.

What it measures:

  • How engaged youth are at school, how much they enjoy school, how successful they feel at school, and how much they value this success.

Intended age range: 11- to 18-year-olds; versions for pre-adolescents (grades 36) and college students are also available. Brief description: This measure consists of 6 items. Sample items include: “I work hard at school,”  “I enjoy being at school,” and “I do well in school.” Each item is rated on a 5-point scale: Not at all true, Not really true, Sort of true, True, or Very true.

Rationale: School connectedness measures vary widely in content. Many contain items that address feelings about safety while at school as well as rule fairness and teacher support. The Hemingway scale focuses more on aspects of school liking, engagement in school work, and feelings of success in the school context. These latter facets of school connectedness appear to be more amenable to change through mentoring because they focus more on youths’ perceptions and behaviors as opposed to more “objective” features of their school environment.

Cautions: None.

Special administration information: None.

How to score: Each item is scored from 1 (Not at all true)  to 5 (Very true). The total score on the measure is computed by reverse coding one item (“I get bored in school al lot”) and averaging across all items.

How to interpret findings: A higher score indicates stronger connectedness to school.

Access and permissions: The measure is available for non-commercial use with no charge and can be accessed online here as part of the manual for the Hemingway. Prior to use, the author requests that you review the terms of use (see p. 9 of the manual) and email him to indicate that these are acceptable (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Spanish, French, and Chinese language versions can be found on the Hemingway measure’s website. A ready-to-use version is also made available here.

Alternatives: Another frequently used measure is the School Connectedness Scale (SCS). The 6-item scale was originally developed for the Add Health Longitudinal study and has been used in several studies (in some cases omitting one of the original items). More information about this measure can be found here.

Citation: Karcher, M. J., & Sass, D. (2010). A multicultural assessment of adolescent connectedness: Testing measurement invariance across gender and ethnicity. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57, 274–289.

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