School-based health centers (SBHCs), or wellness programs, are located in 15 of 19 high schools in the San Francisco Unified School District. These SBHCs are staffed with at least one wellness coordinator, nurse, community health outreach worker, and behavioral health therapist. SBHCs are designed to increase student achievement by reducing health problems and risk behaviors that hinder student success. SBHCs may also foster student success by improving youths’ school-related assets like relationships with caring adults, involvement in extracurricular activities, and belief that they are held to high standards. In their recent article, The Relationship Between Use of School-Based Health Centers and Student-Reported School Assets, authors Stone, Whitaker, Anyon and Shields aimed to examine the relationship between students’ SBHC utilization and students’ reports of (1) school assets and (2) caring relationships with SBHC staff.
The sample for this study included 7,314 students in 15 schools from the San Francisco Unified School District. Participants completed a modified version of the 2009 California Healthy Kids Survey.
- Age: M=15.89 (SD=1.23)
- Grade Level:
- Ninth: 25%
- 10th: 23%
- 11th: 27%
- 12th: 44%
- Asian: 62%
- Black: 7%
- Latino: 13%
- Pacific Islander: 3%
- Other racial identity: 9%
- White: 6%
Results showed that students who used SBHCs had higher self-reports of a caring relationship with an adult SBHC employee, total school assets, caring relationships with adults, high expectations, and meaningful participation. Moreover, those students who utilized SBHCs more often also had higher school asset scores. Finally, results indicated that those students with the highest risk factors reported participating most frequently in the SBHCs, had the highest school asset scores, and had the strongest relationships with caring adult staff members of the SBHCs.
Though future research is needed to confirm findings, based on the present results, the authors suggest that students’ use of SBHCs is associated with positive academic outcomes, particularly through the students’ reported perceptions of school assets.
For More Information
Check out the San Francisco Wellness Initiative’s September 2013 Research Snapshot for more details on this research.
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Stone, S., Whitaker, K., Anyon, Y., & Shields, J.P. (2013). The relationship between use of school-based health centers and student-reported school assets. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53, 526-532.