Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 139–156 | Cite as

Mainland Chinese students’ self-appraisals of their psychological dispositions at school

  • Helen Askell-Williams
  • Grace Skyrzypiec
  • Xueqin Zhao
  • Fei Cao


This paper reports mainland Chinese students’ self-appraisals about their psychological dispositions whilst at school. Increasing interest has turned to factors such as resilience, wellbeing, flourishing, happiness and satisfaction, which in turn are predicted to be associated with factors such as emotional stability, achieving personal goals, social fulfilment and quality of life. Such psychological dispositions are developed in conjunction with the influences of social systems such as schools. Although a number of researchers have collaborated with schools to investigate students’ dispositions in English speaking countries, similar research in mainland China is in its infancy. This is particularly the case for studies that seek students’ own perspectives. We administered a questionnaire about resilience, flourishing, wellbeing, self-concept, school satisfaction, mental health, and happiness at school to 2756 students in Years 5–9 in mainland China. As expected with a non-clinical population, most students reported positively across the various scales. However, dividing the sample into subgroups enabled the creation of stratified visual profiles that showed significant differences between students with different backgrounds, such as gender, age, and mental health. This study illustrates the importance of subgroup analyses to identify potential areas of concern for different types of students, which in turn may inform differentiated school-based intervention programs to support students to flourish.


Mainland Chinese students Psychological dispositions Wellbeing and mental health School satisfaction Resilience Happiness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education, Psychology and Social WorkFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Beijing Academy of Educational SciencesBeijingChina

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