Evidence That It Works
In a study, some participants reflected on a time when they felt a strong bond with someone else; other participants wrote about a time when they felt especially competent or autonomous. Compared with those in the other groups, the participants who reflected on their experience of closeness reported greater feelings of connectedness and concern for others.
What’s more, they also reported a stronger intention to carry out a variety of altruistic behaviors over the next six weeks, including giving money to charity and going out of their way to help a stranger in need.
Why Does It Matter?
When students feel a sense of connectedness at school, a fundamental psychological need of theirs is being met. Indeed, a feeling of connection to teachers and students can foster a greater sense of emotional well-being, leading to increased engagement with others and academic achievement. And when students feel connected and cared about, they are better able to expend energy on helping and caring for others, which in turn, fosters a sense of belongingness for everyone at school.