EXPLORING THE LINK BETWEEN SCHOOL ATTENDANCE, DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS, AND SOCIAL CAPITAL IN A FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITY

Kim Sanderson, Bonnie Hutchinson, Jana Grekul

Abstract



In Alberta, concerns about the state of educational achievement among First Nations students have been widely reported. Academic literature has well established the link between poor school performance and delinquency. Miyo Wahkohtowin Community Education Authority of Ermineskin First Nation in Hobbema (“Miyo”) has identified one of its major concerns to be low attendance rates among many students. Based on the significant body of work related to risk and protective factors in school-aged children by the Search Institute of Minneapolis, and research related to social capital in Aboriginal communities by Mignone and O’Neil (2005) and others, this study draws on the standard Developmental Asset Profile developed by the Search Institute, and Mignone and O’Neil’s (2005) standardized questions related to cultural and social capital in Aboriginal communities. Results from a survey administered to high school age students (n = 69) and attendance rates for the students, reveal a strong correlation between attendance rates and developmental asset scores. On the other hand, no correlation was revealed between attendance rates and sense of cultural heritage, or perceptions of a positive community context. Implications for building assets and social capital among youth, and strengthening community attachments are discussed.

Keywords


developmental assets, cultural capital, social capital, school attendance, First Nations

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies
ISSN
(online) 1920-7298
© University of Victoria

 

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