School Connectedness and Mental Health Among Black Adolescents

Publication Year



Black students' school experiences are important for their mental health. The current study explored the link between school connectedness in middle childhood and depressive symptoms and aggressive behaviors among Black adolescents. Participants were Black youth (Mage = 9.36 years, SD = 0.38 at time 1), (Mage = 15.59 years, SD = 0.60 at time 2), and 50.2% female. The findings demonstrated a significant association between school connectedness assessed at age nine and reduced depressive symptoms and aggressive behaviors reported at age fifteen. Notably, gender moderated the relationship between school connectedness and depressive symptoms, with a stronger association found for girls. These results offer valuable insights into how early perceptions of school connectedness impact the mental health of Black adolescents as they grow older. These findings also indicate that girls might be more attuned to the social and emotional aspects of their schools. These findings validate the significance of a sense of connection to school with mental health outcomes among Black adolescents and indicate the possibility of school connectedness interventions to enhance their overall well-being.

Publication Status
In Press
Journal of Youth and Adolescence