What happens when students feel they belong?


  • When students feel that they belong to a community, they trust their teachers and peers more, they are more motivated and engaged, they have fewer behavior struggles, they respond more adaptively to critical feedback, and ultimately, they have higher academic performance and overall well-being.
  • Teachers can play an important role in helping students feel like they belong.
Brummelman, E., Thomaes, S., Walton, G. M., Reijntjes, A., Orobio de Castro, B., & Sedikides, C. (Under review). Addressing people by name reduces their loneliness, even months later: Evidence from inside and outside the laboratory. Good, J. J., Woodzicka, J. A., & Wingfield, L. C. (2010). The effects of gender stereotypic and counter-stereotypic textbook images on science performance. The Journal of social psychology, 150(2), 132-147. Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). A question of belonging: race, social fit, and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 82. Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2011). A brief social-belonging intervention improves academic and health outcomes of minority students. Science, 331, 1447-1451. Yeager, D. S. & Walton, G. (2011). Social-psychological interventions in education: They’re not magic. Review of Educational Research, 81, 267-301.
 Give feedback