An Investigation of the Effect of School Context, School Connectedness, and Academic Self-Efficacy on Multidimensional Outcomes Among Chilean Adolescents
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In the current study, structural equation modeling is used to explore the complex relationships between environmental and individual factors as they influence multidimensional indices of adjustment among a sample of Chilean adolescents. The first aim was to examine the direct relationships between school contextual factors and both educational and socioemotional outcomes. The second aim was to determine the mediational effect of academic self-efficacy and school connectedness on these relationships. Invariance testing was then applied to the full structural model to determine whether demographic variables such as sex or school placement had significant moderating effects on path coefficients. Participants in this study included 893 (428 male and 465 female) 9th through 12th grade students sampled from four distinct high school settings in and around Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Ministry of Education identified three of the four schools as "priority" (meaning "high risk") public high schools based on academic achievement, area poverty, local economic prospects, and school demographics (e.g., drop-out rate). The fourth school is a private Catholic school that is partially subsidized by the government and located in central urban Santiago. Overall, findings from this study highlight that school contextual assets and stressors have a significant impact on the multidimensional adjustment of Chilean adolescents, both directly and by influencing individual academic self-efficacy and school connectedness. Direct relationships were found between school contextual factors and both educational and socioemotional outcomes. In addition, results highlighted the significant mediating effect of both school connectedness and academic self-efficacy in these relationships, reinforcing the central protective role of such factors in the school engagement and adjustment of youth. Lastly, invariance testing revealed significant differences in model fit between groups based on school type but not sex. Culturally embedded implications for intervention and future research are discussed.