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The Subjective Well-Being of Students in Different Parts of the School Premises in French Middle Schools


The aim of this study was to explore the spatial approach to well-being in French middle schools, drawing on an ecological model of child development to explore how student well-being varies through the day according to the part of the school premises they are in. 2028 (from 11 to 15 years old) students took part in the survey. The results confirm that a spatial approach is interesting because it reveals different levels of subjective well-being according to place. The results also show that the decrease in student well-being between the first and the fourth year is more about learning spaces; other spaces do not result in this decrease. Our study highlights the usefulness of this ecological framework and the importance of complementary qualitative approaches and studies in different cultural contexts for a better understanding of variations in student well-being.

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  1. 1.

    These were teachers with whom we had previously worked (regular reception of trainee teachers, for example). The sample is therefore non-probabilistic.

  2. 2.

    The 19 places asked about are: classroom, resource center/library, supervised work room, sports hall, corridors, stairs, locker area, entrance hall, bicycle shed, Physical Education changing rooms, toilets, administrative offices, Principal Educational Advisor’s (PEA) office, playground, dining room, supervisors’ office, “gate,” school bus stop, swimming pool.

  3. 3.

    The statements in French were: “Je me sens bien dans l’établissement”; “Je me sens bien lorsque je suis dans les salles de classe”.

  4. 4.

    Je suis content-e de venir au college.”

  5. 5.

    Je me suis senti(e) bien.”

  6. 6.

    Je me suis senti(e) triste.”

  7. 7.

    19 places for the cognitive component of well-being and 18 for the affective component, since the swimming pool was not included for the latter.

  8. 8.

    We apply the Bonferroni correction to the initial threshold of p = 0.05: given that there are 18 places, the corrected value of p = 0.05/18 = 0.0027.

  9. 9.

    2028 students answered on 3 or 4 places (depending on version of questionnaire).

  10. 10.

    We apply the Bonferroni correction to the initial threshold of p = 0.05: given that there are 19 places, the corrected value of p = 0.05/19 = 0.0026.


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Joing, I., Vors, O. & Potdevin, F. The Subjective Well-Being of Students in Different Parts of the School Premises in French Middle Schools. Child Ind Res (2019).

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  • Places
  • Ecological framework
  • France
  • Subjective well-being
  • School
  • Spatial approach