School Climate & Safety Report Roundup

Student Engagement

By Sarah D. Sparks — July 16, 2019 1 min read

Adolescent students can be challenging for educators to keep engaged—but putting in the effort to make them feel connected to school can pay off well into adulthood.

In a study in the journal Pediatrics, researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked more than 14,000 middle and high school students for 20 years. They found that students who felt connected to their school and family as adolescents grew up safer and with better mental health than those who were disconnected as teenagers. Connected adolescents were less than half as likely to be the victims of physical violence, to use illicit drugs, or to have a sexually transmitted disease by their 20s or 30s, a significant risk decline.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 17, 2019 edition of Education Week as Student Engagement

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