International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 54, Supplement 2, pp 251–259 | Cite as

The relationship of schools to emotional health and bullying

  • John G. Freeman
  • Oddrun Samdal
  • Don A. Klinger
  • Wolfgang Dur
  • Robert Griebler
  • Dorothy Currie
  • Mette Rasmussen
Original article

Abstract

Objectives:

To examine the extent to which school climate and school pressure could predict other aspects of adolescents’ lives, most particularly their emotional health and bullying. Furthermore, the study sought to investigate if these relationships were consistent across countries.

Methods:

Participants were 11-, 13-, and 15-year-olds from 26 European countries/regions, Canada, the United States, and Israel. Participants completed surveys focusing on health behaviours and lifestyles, using a contextual framework. Using cluster analytic techniques, three clusters were created varying on school pressure and perceived school climate. These clusters were then examined using variables not used in the clustering.

Results:

Students in the cluster having the most positive relationships to school outcomes, including academic achievement, truancy, teacher and peer support, also had the most positive emotional health and the lowest incidence of bullying. Similarly, those in the poorest cluster in terms of school also had the poorest outcomes in terms of emotional health and bullying.

Conclusions:

These relatively small but significant associations suggest that schools may have a small role in supporting children’s emotional well-being and ameliorate the presence of bullying.

Keywords:

School climate School pressure Emotional health Psychosomatic symptoms Cluster analysis 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Freeman
    • 1
  • Oddrun Samdal
    • 2
  • Don A. Klinger
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Dur
    • 3
  • Robert Griebler
    • 3
  • Dorothy Currie
    • 4
  • Mette Rasmussen
    • 5
  1. 1.Social Program Evaluation Group, Faculty of EducationQueen‘s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Research Centre for Health PromotionUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Health Promotion ResearchViennaAustria
  4. 4.Child & Adolescent Health Research Unit, The Moray House School of EducationUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland
  5. 5.National Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark

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