Importance:School engagement is the extent to which students commit to and participate in school activities, including internal thoughts, emotions, and observable behaviors. It is critical to children’s academic outcomes and mental health. Occupational therapy practitioners support children at school to maintain mental well-being and meet their school outcomes. However, how occupational therapy practitioners should measure school engagement among elementary school students remains unclear.
Objective: To identify and characterize how elementary school students’ school engagement is currently measured.
Data Sources: PsycINFO, Eric, CINAHL, and A+ Education databases. Two reviewers screened titles and abstracts, and one reviewer completed full-text screening and data extraction using Excel.
Study Selection: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews guided this review. Studies published between 2015 and 2021 were included if full text was available, written in English, and used a measure designed for elementary school–age students. Studies were excluded if they used no school engagement measurement; used only infant, adolescent, or adult scales; were not available for review; and did not meet the inclusion criteria.
Findings: The review included 125 studies. A range of self-report, observational, teacher-report, and caregiver-report measures of school engagement were identified. Behavioral school engagement was most commonly measured. Included studies were primarily published in education and psychology fields, with none published in occupational therapy journals.
Conclusions and Relevance: A range of school engagement measurements can be found in the literature, but no consensus exists on a validated school engagement measurement for occupational therapy practice.
What This Article Adds: This review provides occupational therapy practitioners with a comprehensive understanding of (1) the importance of school engagement to mental health and (2) the range of behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement measures currently available for use with elementary school–age children, thereby enhancing the profession’s knowledge and scope of practice in school engagement.