The purpose of this study was to examine whether the closeness and quality of relationships between intervention staff and students involved in the Check & Connect program were associated with improved student engagement in school. Participants included 80 elementary and middle school students referred to the Check & Connect program for poor attendance, an early sign of disengagement, while in elementary school. After accounting for student risk and prior attendance, student and interventionist perceptions of the closeness and quality of their relationship were found to be associated with improved engagement in terms of school attendance, and interventionist perceptions of their relationships with students were associated with teacher-rated academic engagement (e.g., prepared for class, work completion, persistence). The importance of designing and evaluating relationship-based interventions for students at-risk for school failure is discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The production of this paper was supported in part by Dakota County Community Services, Minnesota. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the funding agency.
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