Examining predictors of school belonging using a systems and cross-country perspective.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has identified a global trend signaling a decline in a sense of school belonging for secondary school students. Research has identified several factors that are positively related to school belonging, such as teacher support and academic motivation, but less research points to how these variables may predict school belonging especially in respect to how they may interact within a socio-ecological framework. The purpose of this study is to examine variables found to be positively related to school belonging to assess their predictive utility. The study used data collected by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015. Fifteen-year-old students from 72 countries were selected from this data (n = 519,334). Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted to explore whether the independent variables, entered in blocks according to their socio-ecological level, predicted a sense of school belonging. The results demonstrated that all variables examined predicted a sense of school belonging of the students sampled. Implications for school leaders, teachers and parents are discussed.