This study explored the associations between secondary school students' sense of school belonging, their perceptions of school kindness, and character strength of kindness, and examined possible differences in these constructs across gender groups. The study, which included 1973 Hong Kong secondary school students, revealed that students' sense of school belonging was positively correlated with their perceptions of school kindness at the school and student levels (0.021 and 0.185, respectively). Furthermore, students' sense of school belonging was positively linked to character strength of kindness at the student level, although this relationship was found to be non-significant at the school level. At both levels of analysis, the positive relationships between students' perceptions of school kindness and character strength of kindness were significant. In addition, girls reported higher levels of character strength of kindness than boys. The findings of this study provide a better understanding of the relationships between sense of school belonging, school kindness, and character strength of kindness. Implications for research are also discussed.
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This paper is intended to contribute to “EdUHK Teachers of Tomorrow – Life Education and Virtues for Empowerment Leadership (TT-LEVEL) Programme”. The authors would like to thank Dr. Cheung Hoi Yan, Dr. Hui King Fai Sammy, Dr. John-Tyler Binfet, and Prof. Keiko Otake for their support, and Ms. Michelle Li and Dr. Raymond Kong for their help during the research preparation. Thanks are extended to the UNESCO Chair in the Regional Education Development and Lifelong Learning program at the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) as well as Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education, Faculty of Education and Human Development, EdUHK for supporting the preparation of this paper. The views presented in this paper expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNESCO and EdUHK and do not commit the respective Organizations. The authors would like to thank the editor and reviewers for their valuable comments for improving this paper.
© 2020 Society for the Study of School Psychology
- Character strength of kindness
- School climate
- School kindness
- Sense of school belonging