The Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) (Adapted)

This measure is for childrenThis is a free measure

Since its creation in 1993, The Psychological Sense of School Membership has been widely used to measure students’ sense of belonging at school. An adapted version of this measure, specifically modified to be developmentally appropriate for younger students, is the focus of this section.  This version has 18 items appropriate for students Age 8 and older. Rather than statements, the items are in the form of questions: For example, “‘Are teachers interested in students like you?” (Wagle et al., 2018, p. 574). Students rank each question on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from yes to no. This version has been tested with over 2,500 students in the United States, United Kingdom, and China.

Pros for Schools

Cons for Schools

Widely used
Focus version specifically adapted for larger age range of students
Several additional variations available
Multiple translations available


Suggestions for Further Research

Goodenow, C. (1993). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: Scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in the Schools, 30, 79–90.

Wagle, R., Dowdy, E., Yang, C., Palikara, O., Castro, S., Nylund-Gibson, K., & Furlong, M. J. (2018). Preliminary investigation of the psychological sense of school membership scale with primary school students in a cross-cultural context. School Psychology International, 39(6), 568–586. 10.1177/0143034318803670

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