What Role Does Belonging Play in Students’ Success?
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People are innately motivated to form interpersonal bonds and to maintain them continuously in a stable form. Students who feel as though they belong at the school level experience higher motivation and greater academic success. Students who report high levels of belonging are also at a lower risk for suicide as the presence of strong interpersonal relationships can act as a preventative factor against suicide. Studies show, they are less likely to be students that are involved in deviant and anti-social or harmful behaviour at school. School counsellors and teachers could work to better involve students with the school community by developing a connection between students and the school. The school counsellor is there as a trusting person who has an ongoing caring relationship with the individual. He/she can strive to connect the student to their peers and to their family by encouraging dialogue and social participation in both school and extracurricular activities. In addition, school counsellors can work to help students who are having difficulties feeling connected to the school and to establish means to support them becoming more connected. School counsellors can act as a trusted, understanding, and caring adult who can have a positive ongoing relationship in the students’ secondary school life.