08 SES 09 A, Mental health and psychological wellbeing
"School and joy? Do they belong together?", this is the question asked by Valtin, König and Drage (2015) in their introduction to happiness and disenchantment at school. And the question is legitimate. Should a school provide their students with happiness? When we think about school, we also have to think about the emotion that school awakens in children and young people. Therefore, students’ well-being (happiness is a part of it) has been an issue of increasing attention in recent years. This trend is noticeable, for example, in the evaluations of PISA data 2015 (OECD, 2017), which focuses on well-being as well. In consideration of the time which young people spend daily at schools, a substantial influence of a positively or negatively perceived everyday school life on physical and mental health (Gerber & Pühse, 2007), school attendance and learning motivation, but also on school performance (Diener, 1994; Eder, 2007; König, Wagner, Valtin, & Schmude, 2011; OECD, 2017) can be assumed. Hence, there is a high consensus that students’ well-being is important, but also a dissent about what exactly is meant by it. This article is based on the definition of Hascher (2004), which describes students’ well-being as a state of feeling in which positive emotions and cognitions to school, to persons in school and to school context exist and dominate over negative emotions and cognitions (Hascher, 2004). According to this definition, students’ well-being is a multidimensional construct consisting of several categories, such as happiness, satisfaction, school stress but also physical and mental health (Hascher, 2004; OECD, 2017).
What influences the well-being of students? Already in the 90s, Diener (1994) postulated that well-being cannot be attributed to a single factor. It can be assumed that several factors can contribute to the increase or decrease of well-being. Hascher, Morinaj and Waber (2018) categorize these influences in inner-school, out-of-school and personal factors. In the inner-school area, factors such as teaching structure, relationship between teachers and students or class climate are located. The family situation, educational attitudes and aspirations of parents or peer cultures can be attributed to out-of-school factors. Personal factors include individual dispositions, gender, social status and the educational background of the parents.
The influence of various factors (relationship to classmates, teachers, school grades, etc.) is well documented, but the available data rarely shows how the influencing factors interact. In addition, it seems to be clear that people in the school environment are relevant to students’ well-being, but we do not know which behaviour is decisive. This article deals with this gap in research and makes a contribution to the question "How is school related to the well-being of young people?".
Based on representative data from 14- to 16-year-old students in Vorarlberg (Böheim-Galehr & Kohler-Spiegel, 2017), the inner-school context is used to explain students’ well-being. A combined, proportionally stratified random sample based on the characteristics of gender, first language and school type, taken in clusters (classes), was chosen for the sample construction. The sample included 2,079 students from 100 classes and deviated by a maximum of 1.4 percentage points from the total population (Rücker & Meusburger, 2017). In this paper, students’ well-being is based on the six-component model of Hascher et al. (2018). This model lists three positive (1. school satisfaction, 2. school joy, 3. school self-esteem) and three negative (1. concerns about school, 2. physical complaints about school, 3. social problems at school) emotions and cognitions about school. These factors combined measure student’ well-being. In my own research, students’ well-being can be operationalized by three components, two positive and one negative. While the two positive components include school happiness and school satisfaction, the negative component is represented by school stress. Based on these three components the scale students’ well-being (Cronbach's Alpha 0.62) is formed. In addition to a descriptive interpretation of the data, a linear regression is used to describe the relationship between students’ well-being as a dependent variable and predictors in the inner-school context. The predictors include three groups: 1. sociodemographic information of students, such as gender or educational background of parents. 2. school-related persons, such as teachers or classmates. 3. school-related attitudes, such as one's own educational interest, one's own performance concept or a positive self-concept.
The evaluations show that students’ school-related attitudes are the strongest predictors and that interest in educational content and individual satisfaction of school performance are particularly relevant. In addition, both the class climate and teachers, who behave in a way that promotes success, are important factors for students’ well-being. No significant differences are discernible in the sociodemographic of students. Nevertheless, the variables gender and educational background of the parents are included as control variables. This brief insight into the results of the article already shows that interest in school content is important for maintaining and increasing well-being. School performance also plays a role: teachers who promote performance and the feeling of students being good at school contributes to a high level of well-being. When training teachers, special attention must be paid to the behaviour towards students. At this point the limitation of the paper will be discussed. According to critics, cross-sectional data - as in this article - would reflect current well-being and, in contrast to longitudinal data, show no habitual well-being (Abele & Becker, 1991). Are young people really not in a position to make statements about their well-being beyond the current emotional state? When the survey was conducted, the respondents were aged between 13 and 18 years and were given the competence to report (habitual) students' well-being. Furthermore, the data are limited due to the broad spectrum of topics in the study. Although different contexts can be included in the analysis, the questions usually moves on the surface. There would be a need for further studies: a closer look at teachers, classmates and, above all, school attitudes would allow more accurate statements on students’ well-being.
Abele, A., & Becker, P. (Hrsg.). (1991). Wohlbefinden: Theorie, Empirie, Diagnostik. Weinheim: Juventa Verlag. Böheim-Galehr, G., & Kohler-Spiegel, H. (Hrsg.). (2017). Lebenswelten - Werthaltungen junger Menschen in Vorarlberg 2016. Innsbruck: StudienVerlag. Diener, E. (1994). Assessing Subjective well-being: Progress and Opportunities. Social Indicators Research, 31(2), 103–157. Eder, F. (2007). Das Befinden von Kindern und Jugendlichen in der österreichischen Schule: Befragung 2005. Innsbruck: StudienVerlag. Gerber, M., & Pühse, U. (2007). Psychosomatische Beschwerden und psychisches Wohlbefinden - Eine Untersuchung bei Schülerinnen und Schülern der Sekundarstufe II. Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht, 54(3), 223–235. Hascher, T. (Hrsg.). (2004). Schule positiv erleben: Ergebnisse und Erkenntnisse zum Wohlbefinden von Schülerinnen und Schülern. Bern: Haupt. Hascher, T., Morinaj, J., & Waber, J. (2018). Schulisches Wohlbefinden: Eine Einführung in Konzepte und Forschungsstand. In K. Rathmann & K. Hurrelmann (Hrsg.), Leistung und Wohlbefinden in der Schule: Herausforderung Inklusion (1. Auflage, S. 66–82). Weinheim Basel: Beltz Juventa. König, J., Wagner, C., Valtin, R., & Schmude, C. (2011). Jugend, Schule, Zukunft: psychosoziale Bedingungen der Persönlichkeitsentwicklung. Ergebnisse der Längsschnittstudie AIDA. Münster: Waxmann. OECD. (2017). PISA 2015 Results (Volume III): Students’ Well-Beeing. Paris: OECD Publishing.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.