Belonging as a guiding principle in the education of adolescents

Kelly A. Allen, Terence Bowles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Belonging has been shown to have a significant impact on a range of factors associated with wellbeing. These areas include life satisfaction, general wellbeing, clinical depression, cognitive performance, academic outcomes, and physical health. Belonging is an important aspect of psychological functioning. Schools offer unique opportunities for mediating belonging for school-aged children. Research on belonging in educational settings has been unsystematic and diluted by disparities in definition and terminology. This paper provides an overview of belonging, the importance of belonging in schools, and proposes an argument as to why further research is needed. Future findings should have relevance for the design of interventions and modification of organisational structures within the school including, policy, pedagogy, and teacher training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-119
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Belonging
  • Belongingness
  • Meta-analysis
  • Positive psychology
  • School attachment
  • School connectedness
  • Wellbeing

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