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The importance of school connectedness in adolescent risk taking and injury prevention Presentation at PHAA 39 th Annua PowerPoint Presentation
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The importance of school connectedness in adolescent risk taking and injury prevention Presentation at PHAA 39 th Annua
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  1. The importance of school connectedness in adolescent risk taking and injury prevention Presentation at PHAA 39th Annual Conference Canberra, 2009 Rebekah Chapman, Dr Lisa Buckley, Prof Mary Sheehan

  2. Adolescent injury • Need for preventive intervention prior to dramatic increase in injury at 14-15 years: % deaths due to injury AIHW, 2008

  3. Risk taking and injury • A high level of injuries among adolescents are due to risk taking • Including violence & transport risks; often occurring in the context of alcohol use • Those 11-15 year olds who report high levels of risk taking - 2.46 times more likely to report medically treated injuries (Pickett et al., 2002)

  4. Model for intervention Injury support services: police/ emergency services Self-management: first aid & attitudes Peer & parental relationships School connectedness Reduced risk-taking behaviour Injury prevention & control

  5. School connectedness • “Extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included and supported by others in the school social environment” (Goodenow, 1993) • Also referred to as: - Engagement - Attachment - Bonding - Involvement

  6. Connectedness research • Academic motivation and achievement (e.g. Bond et al., 2007; Archambault, et al., 2009) • Emotional well being (e.g. Shochet et al., 2006/2007; Bond et al., 2007) • Risk taking behaviour, including drug and alcohol use, violence & sexual risk behaviours (e.g. Resnick et al., 1993; McNeely & Falci, 2004; Voisin et al., 2005 ; Bond et al., 2007)

  7. Research aim • Research has not yet addressed links between school connectedness and adolescent injury • Aim: To examine the relationship between school connectedness and adolescent risk taking and injury

  8. Methodology • 595 year 9 students (13-14 years): • 295 males, 300 females • From 5 Southeast Qld public high schools • Active parental and student consent • Response rate 73% • Surveyed by researchers during health classes

  9. Survey • Injury(E-AIC; Chapman et al.) • e.g. “Being in a physical fight with someone”; “Riding in a car”; “Riding a bicycle” • Risk taking (ASRDS; Mak, 1993, Western et al., 2003) • e.g. “Deliberately hurt or beaten up somebody”; “Ridden in a car with someone who has been drinking” • School connectedness (SCCP-II; Lickona & Davidson, 2003) • e.g. “Students can talk to their teachers about their problems”; “Students try to look out for each other”; “Teachers go out of their way to help students”

  10. Results • Mean school connectedness score: • Males: 5.74; Females: 6.04 (p < .05) • Reported any transport & violence risks & injury: p<.05

  11. Results: Risk taking behaviour and connectedness All sig. different at p<.05 All sig. different at p<.05 Connectedness score Males Females

  12. Results: Transport injuries and connectedness Connectedness score Males Females p<.05

  13. Results: Violence/ alcohol injuries and connectedness All sig. different at p<.05 All sig. different at p<.05 Connectedness score Males Females

  14. Conclusions • Lower school connectedness among 13-14 year olds associated with: • Transport risk behaviours (males & females); passenger and motorcycle injuries (males) • Violence and associated injuries • Alcohol/substance use and alcohol related injuries

  15. Conclusions • School connectedness consistently shown to be an important protective factor in adolescence • May be an important factor to target in school based risk and injury prevention programs

  16. Model for intervention Injury support services: police/ emergency services Self-management: first aid & attitudes Peer & parental relationships School connectedness Reduced risk-taking behaviour Injury prevention & control

  17. Questions? “What we have found is that kids who felt connected to school smoked less, drank alcohol less. On top of this… they do better across every academic measure we have. There is something in that bond, in that connection to school that changes the life trajectory - at least the health and academic behaviour. It is very powerful - second only to parents in power. In some contexts it's more powerful than parents.” • Robert Blum, ADD Health Study