7.3.2 Percentage of Canadian youth who report that they agree or strongly agree with the statement that they belong at their school, by grade and gender, Canada, 2014

Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10
Boys 71 68 66 63 63
Girls 73 64 61 54 57

Source: CICH graphic created using data from Health Behaviour in School-aged Children in Canada: Focus on Relationships, 2015.

In 2014, 71% of boys and 73% of girls in Grade 6 either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I belong at this school”.

Those proportions declined steadily to Grade 9.

In Grades 7 through 10, more boys felt they belonged at school than did girls.

School has an important influence on the health and well-being of young people – as well as on their development and social behaviours.1 Schools, therefore, are a place to promote the health and well-being of young people. One of the important aspects of the school climate is the students’ feelings of belongingness at school.2 Being successful at school and positively engaging in school activities is associated with self-reported well-being among young people.3 Therefore, school experiences can make an important contribution to the mental health of young people. In addition, if young people feel they belong in school they are more likely to engage in school activities and be more motivated. They are also more likely to have positive relationships with peers and teachers.4

1Wang, M. T., & Dishion, T. J. (2012). The trajectories of adolescents’ perceptions of school climate, deviant peer affiliation, and behavioural problems during the middle school years. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22, 40-53.
2Freeman JG, King M and Pickett W. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) in Canada: Focus on Relationships. 2016.
3Bird, J. M., & Markle, R. S. (2012). Subjective well-being in school environments: Promoting positive youth development through evidence-based assessment and intervention. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82, 61-66.
4Sakiz, G., Pape, S. J., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2012). Does perceived teacher affective support matter for middle school students in mathematics classrooms? Journal of School Psychology, 50, 235-255.