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Chapters

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Allen, K. A., Boyle, C., Kern, M. L., Wong, D., & Cahey, A. (2022). 
In A. Holliman & K. Sheehy (Eds.), Overcoming adversity in education. Routledge.

This book is open access,
Research shows that sizable minorities of adolescents around the globe report feeling isolated at school, with many school students identifying as feeling lonely, especially when faced with adversity. The OECD sets the global average for this at 16% with sizeable variations between countries. This chapter discusses the importance of school belonging for students and what it is that seems to hinder strong feelings of belonging for many young people. Society is becoming increasingly fragmented, but school will, for the foreseeable future, continue to be an experience which can shape how young people go onto influence society whether it be positively or negatively.

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Allen, K. A., Boyle, C., Wong, D., Johnson, R., & May, F. (2022) 
In A. Giraldez-Hayes & J. Burke (Eds.), Applied positive school psychology. Routledge. ISBN: 9781032132068

Research on school belonging applies the well-established understanding that we have a fundamental need to belong, to gain knowledge that students are a part of an adaptive, ephemeral and complex school environment. This chapter sets out the fundamentals of school belonging and its link to positive school psychology and also incorporates a rapid literature review of the literature to summarise the main practice elements which are fundamental to school belonging. This is analysed alongside a short case-study bringing forth the key point of the importance of teachers in effective school belonging strategies in order to support students. The preventative and proactive focus of belonging research and discourse, alongside the associated approaches and interventions of fostering school belonging, makes it an area of emerging interest within the field of positive psychology. School belonging has been
identified as an impactful factor in student wellbeing, mental health, academic outcomes, and prosocial behaviours. This chapter provides a review of the research and understanding of school belonging with a focus on applied implications for assessment and intervention.

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Vo, D. T., Allen, K. A., & Kern, M. L.  (2022).
In K. A. Allen, M. J. Furlong, D. Vella-Brodrick, & S. M. Suldo (Eds.). Handbook of positive psychology in schools: Supporting process and practice (3rd ed., pp. 542-558). Taylor and Francis. ISBN: 9780367855864  eISBN: 9781003013778

Educators have a long and lasting impact on students’ lives — for better or for worse. Many educators are passionate about caring for their students’ well-being, guiding their academic development, and addressing emotional, social, cognitive, and behavioral needs that arise. Nevertheless, this passion can take a toll on their own well-being. Unmanageable workloads, academic pressures from leadership and parents, student mental health and behavioral issues, limited control, and lack of resources contribute to teacher stress, anxiety, absenteeism, low productivity, burnout, and attrition. This, in turn, negatively affects the quality of education, student outcomes, student well-being, and academic performance. In this chapter, the role of positive psychology interventions in supporting teacher well-being is discussed, with consideration for how interventions might be tailored to address the specific needs and circumstances of different educators and contexts. Through the effective use of positive psychology interventions, teacher well-being can potentially be improved, with implications for the functioning of both teachers and their students. 

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Huebner, E. S., Furlong, M. J., Allen, K. A., Vella-Brodrick, D. A., Suldo, S. M., & Gilman, R. (2022).
In K. A. Allen, M. J. Furlong, D. A. Vella-Brodrick, & S. M. Suldo (Eds.). Handbook of positive psychology in schools: Supporting process and practice (3rd ed., pp. 3-11). Taylor and Francis. ISBN: 9780367855864  eISBN: 9781003013778

This chapter provides a brief, selective overview of developments in the science and practice of positive psychology in the schools, starting with historical developments and concluding with possible directions arising from the increased knowledge base. Developments in assessment and intervention strategies, particularly those at the group and systems levels, are highlighted.

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Allen, K. A., Riley, K., Boyle, C., Gowing, A., Lim, M. H., Boyle, C., Vota, R. M., Richardson, M., Wolfe, M. J., Cruwys, T., Stevens, M., Leif, E., Marwan, S., van Der Zan, R., & Ammerman, M. (2022).
In K. A. Allen, M. J. Furlong, D. A. Vella-Brodrick, & S. M. Suldo (Eds.). Handbook of positive psychology in schools: Supporting process and practice (3rd ed., pp. 246-266). Taylor and Francis. ISBN: 9780367855864  eISBN: 9781003013778

The concept and definition of belonging varies across the different disciplines. But despite the difference in perspectives, each field recognises the value of belonging particularly in schools. School belonging is associated with positive social and academic outcomes, and overall wellbeing. However, a large proportion of students worldwide have a low sense of belonging and many feel that they do not belong. This chapter will discuss how belonging is defined, its importance for students and the issues related to school belonging through an innovative transdisciplinary lens. This chapter is the first of its kind to integrate the concepts of different transdisciplinary conversations to improve the understanding of school belonging and present potential solutions through collaborations among researchers and educators in different fields. 

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Allen, K., Vella-Brodrick, D., & Waters, L. (2017)
In E. Frydenberg & A. Martin. Social and Emotional Learning in the Australasian Context. Melb AU: Springer Social Sciences (pp. 83-99)

The literature on school belonging is not well advanced in Australia and is complicated by a disparity in terminology (e.g., school belonging has been referred to as school connectedness, school bonding, affiliation with school, school community). Nevertheless, there is a common understanding that school belonging is vital and necessary for the social and emotional well-being of adolescence. This chapter will present a general overview of school belonging and associated empirical studies, present findings of a meta-analysis that has investigated the relationship between social and emotional competencies and school belonging, and discuss practical implications for how to increase social and emotional competencies that may in turn enhance school belonging. The field of research concerned with school belonging and social and emotional competencies holds promise for future directions with respect to the applied impact in schools.

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Boyle, C., & Allen, K. A. (2018).
In K. A. Allen & C. Boyle (Eds.), Pathways to Belonging: School Belonging in Adolescents. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: BRILL. (pp. 219 – 224)

This chapter brings together the main themes and findings from all the studies in this book. Boyle and Allen re-emphasise the collective considerations of many leading academics in school belonging and discuss them in relation to the wider literature. Taking cognisance of various findings, it is clear that, across many geographical boundaries, there is little emphasis and understanding as to the consequences of a lack of belonging in school for many students. Building psychologically robust students is a task undertaken by many people and agencies but, there can be no doubt, that this should be a kernel objective of the school, and rightly so.

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Slatten, C., Allen, K. A., Ferguson, J. K., Vella-Brodrick, D., & Waters, L. (2018).
In K. A. Allen & C. Boyle (Eds.), Pathways to Belonging: School Belonging in Adolescents. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: BRILL. (pp. 7 – 23)

This chapter provides an overview of school belonging through a review of literature that describes the current context, trends and relevancy for future research. Most notable in this chapter is a discussion of school belonging in the university context. Given that the overarching school belonging literature is mainly concerned with issues in primary and secondary schools, this chapter is unique in exploring new ground in tertiary settings. There is a dearth of academic research in this area, and this chapter provides a solid foundation from which to build upon a discussion of current research trends that follow-on in the next section. 

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Allen, K. A., Vella-Brodrick, D., & Waters, L. (2018)
In K. A. Allen & C. Boyle (Eds.), Pathways to Belonging: School Belonging in Adolescents. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: BRILL. (pp. 191 – 218)

This chapter aims to distil the research on school belonging and re-frame it into an applied practical format that can be used by school leaders and practitioners. In their chapter, Rethinking school belonging: A socio-ecological framework, Allen, Vella-Brodrick and Waters present a socio-ecological framework for schools. The authors argue that school leaders and educators should be encouraged to foster students’ sense of belonging by building qualities within the students and by changing school systems and processes. The framework represents the importance of whole school approaches by discussing the role of governmental, organisational, relational and individual level variables in influencing school belonging.

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Boyle, C. & Allen, K. A. (2018).
In K. A. Allen & C. Boyle (Eds.), Pathways to Belonging: School Belonging in Adolescents. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: BRILL. (pp. 1 – 4)

This chapter brings together the main themes and findings from all the studies in this book. Boyle and Allen re-emphasise the collective considerations of many leading academics in school belonging and discuss them in relation to the wider literature. Taking cognisance of various findings, it is clear that, across many geographical boundaries, there is little emphasis and understanding as to the consequences of a lack of belonging in school for many students. Building psychologically robust students is a task undertaken by many people and agencies but, there can be no doubt, that this should be a kernel objective of the school, and rightly so.

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Allen, K. A. (2021) 
In C. M. Mahon, Psychological Insights for Understanding COVID-19 and Media and Technology, Psychological Insights for Understanding COVID-19 and Media and Technology. Routledge

As a society, while many of us have the ability to connect to more and more people in an increasing variety of ways, the decline in face- to-face communication also means that fewer social opportunities are available for some of those who rely on more traditional forms of interactions (Drago, 2015). Are these changes affecting our social satisfaction and leading to increases in the number of people feeling lonely? Are our social skills suffering as a result? Less-direct exposure to other people and fewer opportunities to experience and observe them at first hand could have a particularly large impact on young people (Goodman-Deane et al., 2016). The connections we have today with family, friends and neighbours are unavoidably shaped by rapid developments in technology. But is technology helping or hampering our sense of belonging? This chapter engages with this question and discusses new research into how rapid changes in tech- nology are influencing our social interactions and sense of belonging.

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Allen, K. A., Sven, T. G., Marwan, S., & Arslan, G. (2021)
In M. A. Camilleri (Ed.), Strategic Corporate Communication in the Digital Age. Emerald Publishing Limited. 

Trust is an important element for healthy human relationships, and it has nota- ble implications for organizations and stakeholder groups. This chapter explains how trust can promote effective communication and cooperation. It highlights the role of trust in human relationships as a solution to modern-day socioeco- logical challenges especially as they relate to corporate interactions. Building genuine human connections within the context of changing social landscapes and busier life schedules are essential to counteract the rising loneliness epidemic. The absence of trust may be a barrier to genuine human communication and connection. The absence of trust may be a barrier to genuine human communication and connection, however the presence of pro- social norms can contribute to building and maintaining trust between people. Cooperation and social trust increases subjective well-being and happiness. In an organizational context, trust-based cooperation between stakeholders can create strong relationships.
This chapter argues that trust nurtures face-to-face social interactions and can be strengthened through social and emotional competencies and the crea- tion of policies that support the notions of community and belongingness in the corporate landscape.