Migrant students’ sense of belonging and the Covid‐19 pandemic: implications for educational inclusion

Nikolett Szelei*, Ines Devlieger, An Verelst, Caroline Spaas, Signe Smith Jervelund, Nina Langer Primdahl, Morten Skovdal, Marianne Opaas, Natalie Durbeej, Fatumo Osman, Emma Soye, Hilde Colpin, Lucia De Haene, Sanni Aalto, Reeta Kankaanpää, Kirsi Peltonen, Arnfinn J. Andersen, Per Kristian Hilden, Charles Watters, Ilse Derluyn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


This article investigates school belonging among migrant students and how this changed during the Covid‐19 pandemic. Drawing on quantitative data gathered from 751 migrant students in secondary schools in six European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK), we examined the impact of Covid‐19 school closures, social support, and post‐traumatic stress symptoms on changes in school belonging. Linear regression showed a non‐significant decrease in school belonging, and none of the studied variables had a significant effect on this change in our whole sample. However, sensitivity analysis on a subsample from three countries (Denmark, Finland, and the UK) showed a small but significant negative effect of increasing post‐traumatic stress symptoms on school belonging during Covid‐19 school closures. Given that scholarship on school belonging during Covid‐19 is emergent, this study delineates some key areas for future research on the relationship between wellbeing, school belonging, and inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-184
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Inclusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Covid‐19
  • inclusion
  • migrants
  • post‐traumatic stress
  • school belonging
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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