Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. C. Elliott Ostler


Mental health is an area schools have been increasingly asked to address. Protective factors to mitigate concerning mental health outcomes include those of building relationships, helping students feel safe and secure in their schools, and setting high expectations. These are encompassed within the construct of school connectedness, which is a burgeoning area of research and is linked to an increase of positive mental health outcomes in students. This study utilized a survey to determine the strength in relationship between teacher perceptions of ability to construct school connectedness and the importance of doing so. The study also examined variations in current practices of connecting students to school across Preschool through High School teachers. Findings suggest that there is a strong relationship (rs=.427; p = .083) between teachers perceived abilities in constructing connectedness and the importance in doing so. Findings also suggest that teachers are currently implementing activities throughout their daily routines that positively foster student connectedness. Implications for the field and educational leaders are discussed.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2018 Stephaie Jean Dredge.

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