The purpose of this study was to examine the relations between students’ development and school bonding, as measured by perception of social relationships at school, school self-esteem, commitment and involvement. Specifically, student data was analyzed to identify patterns/clusters among students based on their perception of their bond to their school. Then, the relations between these typologies and student behavioral and emotional problems were examined. Participants were 347 11-to-13-year old students involved in three longitudinal waves. Cluster analysis indicated three different clusters defined as “socially isolated”, “academically disengaged” and “well-adjusted” students. Academically disengaged students showed higher level of behavioral problems (e.g., tobacco and alcohol use) and higher levels of emotional problems than well-adjusted students. On the other hand, socially isolated students showed higher levels of emotional problems than well-adjusted students at each wave. The implications of the role of school bonding in the development and prevention of behavioral and emotional problems are discussed.
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