Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1996

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Social Work

Advisor

Bill Daley

Abstract

The purpose of the researcher was to investigate adolescents’ feelings of belongingness. The following independent variables were investigated: family structure, quality of family life, gender, classification, and length of residency. The dependent variable was scores from the Psychological Sense of School Membership scale. The sample consisted of 349 high school students. Three composite null hypotheses were tested employing three-way analysis of variance (general linear model) at the .05 level of significance. A total of 15 comparisons were made plus 6 recurring. Of the 15 comparisons, 5 were for main effects and 10 for interactions. Of the 5 main effects, 3 were statistically significant at the .05 level. The following main effects were statistically significant at the .05 level: 1. The independent variable quality of family life and the dependent variable Psychological Sense of School Membership, 2. The independent variable classification and the dependent variable Psychological Sense of School Membership, and 3. The independent variable length of residency and the dependent variable Psychological Sense of School Membership. The results indicated the following for main effects: 1. Students who had the highest quality of family life reported a mean Psychological Sense of School Membership score statistically higher than students at levels 3 and 4 of quality of family life, 2. Students who were seniors had statistically higher mean Psychological Sense of School Membership scores than freshmen, and 3. Students who had lived in the community always and 2 or more years had statistically higher mean scores than those who had lived in the community less than 2 years. Of the 10 interactions, one was significant at the .05 level. The following interaction was statistically significant: the independent variables family structure and quality of family life for the dependent variable Psychological Sense of School Membership. The results of the present study appear to support the following generalizations: 1. Seniors have greater feelings of belonging than freshmen, 2. Students who had lived in the community all their lives and 2 or more years have greater feelings of belonging than those who lived in the community less than 2 years, 3. Family structure and quality of family life should be interpreted concurrently, and 4. Students have above typical feelings of belonging.

Rights

Copyright 1996 Shawn L. Gallagher

Comments

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