Induced Feelings of School Belongingness as a Predictor of Engagement as a Student Leader among Ethnic Minority Students
The study examined induced feelings of school belongingness as a predictor of engagement as a student leader among ethnic minority students with an emphasis on social identities. The proposed two-part study examine the correlates of sense of school belonging in high school students. Participants in the first part included 2,500 high school students (1150 males, 1350 females) from 30 public high schools in the state of California. The ages of participants ranged from 14 to 19 years. The sample consisted of20% African Americans, 20% Hispanic Americans, 20% Asian Americans, 20% Native Americans, and 20% European Americans. Participants completed a demographic survey and the Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale (PSSMS; Goodenow, 1993). It was hypothesized that sense of school membership would be positively correlated with grade level and G.P.A. The second part of the study contained a smaller sample size in which participants were recruited from the first part of the study. In the second part of the study, participants who scored low on the PSSMS were identified and asked to participate in a subsequent study which examined the effects of perceived sense of school belonging in relation to the likelihood that they would be willing to engage in the school as a student leader. It was hypothesized that inducing students with a higher sense of school membership would increase his/her desire to hold a student leadership position at his/her school. The second part of the study worked within the framework of the cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957).
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