perceived support from families

10 January 2019

Secondary education is a stage in which many changes occur, including evolution in students’ relationships with teachers, family, and peers. Despite adolescents’ need for independence from adults, these processes continue to affect students’ adjustment. Therefore, perceived social support can be an important contextual variable in school engagement to prevent high levels of educational failure and school dropout. Consequently, the main aims of this study are: to examine the relationship between perceived social support (from teachers, family, and peers) and the dimensions of school engagement (behavioral engagement, cognitive engagement, and emotional engagement); to analyse differences in perceived social support and school engagement by sex and age; and to test the predictive capacity of perceived social support on school engagement. A total of 1468 Basque secondary school students (51 % female; 49 % male), aged between 12 and 17, participated in the study (M = 14.03; SD = 1.36). The Social and Family Support Scale (AFA), the Teacher and Classmate Support Scale (TCMS), and the School Engagement Measure (SEM) were administered. Student’s t-test, correlations and regression analyses were performed. The results indicate positive relationships between perceived social support and school engagement.
Secondly, significant differences in perceived social support and school engagement by sex and age are also observed. Thirdly, perceived social support has explanatory power for school engagement, particularly emotional engagement. Finally, the results are discussed and directions for future research are proposed.


This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 272 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. please, cite this article as follows: Fernández-Lasarte, O., Goñi, E., Camino, I., & Ramos-Díaz, E. (2019). Apoyo social percibido e implicación escolar del alumnado de educación secundaria | Perceived social support and school engagement in secondary students. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (272), 123-141. doi: