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Young People's Perceptions of Family, Peer, and School Connectedness and Their Impact on Adjustment

  • P.C. Law (a1), M. Cuskelly (a1) and A. Carroll (a1)


Families, peer groups, and schools are important environments for children's positive growth and development. A theoretical model that linked children's perceptions of parenting, sense of connectedness to family, peers and school, along with peer group type, to adjustment was developed and tested. Data were collected from students and their parents. The model was supported and explained 56% of the variance with respect to children's reports. Family, school, and peer connectedness all independently predicted child reported adjustment. Differences were apparent between children's and parents’ reports, and the model did not convincingly predict parental views of their child's adjustment. There was evidence that non-familial social environments can have a positive, compensatory impact on children's emotional functioning — a most important finding for school personnel interested in student wellbeing.


Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Associate Professor Monica Cuskelly, The University of Queensland, School of Education, St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia. Email:


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