Equity, connection, and engagement in the school context to promote positive youth development

Katrina J. Debnam, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, Tracy E. Waasdorp, Catherine P. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Connection to school and school engagement are important in promoting positive youth development, but little is known about their relationship to school characteristics, particularly school equity. School equity, the extent to which there is fair treatment for all students, is critical for ensuring the success for all students. Hierarchical linear models conducted on data from 19,833 adolescents at 52 high schools indicated that greater school equity was associated with improved student connection to school and school engagement. Cross-level interactions were observed between equity and the concentration of minority students in the school, as well as for equity and student mobility. Results suggest that improving school equity may be an important contextual target for promoting positive youth development in schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-459
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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