Faculty Publications

The Interaction of Race/Ethnicity and School-Connectedness in Presenting Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors Among Adolescents

Document Type



Externalizing behaviors, Internalizing behaviors, Moderation effects, Racial equity, School connectedness

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Children and Youth Services Review




Background: A sense of school connectedness is a protective factor for reducing problematic behaviors among adolescents. However, there have been limited studies that have identified differences in the effects of school connectedness on the behaviors among diverse races/ethnicities. Objective: This study examined the associations of school connectedness with internalizing and externalizing behaviors and the moderation effect of race/ethnicity on these associations. Methods: Data came from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, wave 6 (n = 976). Multiple regression models and conditional process analysis were used. Results: A higher level of school connectedness was associated with lower internalizing and externalizing behaviors. However, this association was weaker and less significant for adolescents of color than for White adolescents. School connectedness plays a positive role in decreasing their internalizing and externalizing behaviors, but the magnitudes of effects differ by race/ethnicity. Strategies to build a more culturally responsive school environment are recommended to strengthen the positive role of school connectedness for adolescents of color.


Department of Social Work

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version