The Importance of A Sense of Belonging To Youth Service Agencies:

  • Dawn S. Anderson-Butcher College of Social Work, The Ohio State University
  • Janet Fink College of Education, The Ohio State University
Keywords: belonging, risk factors, protective factors, youth


The study explores the importance of attendance, age, and a sense of belonging in predicting various risk and protective factors and problem behaviors among youths participating in United Way-sponsored youth service agencies (n = 98). Multivariate multiple regression analyses indicate that belonging, more importantly than attendance, has a signifi­cant positive relationship with protective factors and a significant negative relationship with various risk factors and problem behaviors. Analyses also indicate that youths become more at risk as they get older and, therefore, suggest the importance of involvement in youth development program­ming during the adolescent years. Findings are discussed and implications for future practice are provided.
How to Cite
Anderson-Butcher, D. S., & Fink, J. (2005). The Importance of A Sense of Belonging To Youth Service Agencies:. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 20, 11–21. Retrieved from