Results from the Add Health study are reported today in a monograph by University of Minnesota researchers and in the April issue of the Journal of School Health. The monograph incorporates findings from the journal article, which was written by Clea McNeely, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota; James Nonnemaker, a research associate at Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, N.C.; and Blum. It also incorporates findings from an unpublished paper by James Moody, of the department of sociology at Ohio State University, and Peter Bearman, of the department of sociology at Columbia University.
The congressionally mandated, federally funded Add Health survey is a comprehensive, school-based study of the health-related behaviors of adolescents in the United States. It was directed by investigators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The study analysis of school connectedness is based on written surveys filled out during the 1994-95 academic year by 71,515 students in 127 schools. In addition, administrators at participating schools completed questionnaires about school policies and procedures, teacher characteristics, and student body characteristics. Thus, Add Health is the only current, nationally representative dataset with information on school attributes and on students' feelings of school connectedness. The dataset is also the most extensive body of information on friendship networks and groups in school.
Blum and his colleagues found that the average level of school connectedness among all schools is 3.64 on a scale of 1 to 5, indicating that most students feel more than moderately connected to their schools. There were no schools where the majority of students felt totally disconnected; nor were there any schools in which all students felt fully engaged.