School Mental Health

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 95–104 | Cite as

The Relationship Between School Perceptions and Psychosomatic Complaints: Cross-Country Differences Across Canada, Norway, and Romania

  • John G. Freeman
  • Oddrun Samdal
  • Adriana Băban
  • Delia Bancila
Original Paper


This study examined the predictive value of school climate and peer support for psychosomatic complaints, perceived academic achievement, and school satisfaction in Canada, Norway, and Romania. While the three countries used the same measures of each construct, the questionnaires were written in three different languages. Thus, we first established the linguistic equivalence of the instruments across the three countries. Having established linguistic equivalence, we next examined the extent to which the patterns of relationship were similar across the countries and for two age groups (13- and 15-year-olds). There were similar cross-national patterns in relationships with stronger links between school climate and the three outcomes than between peer support and the outcomes. The peer support–perceived academic achievement path was in all instances weak or non-significant. With respect to age differences, none were observed in Canada and Norway, but age differences were seen in Romania.


School climate Peer support Psychosomatic complaints 



The authors wish to extend their appreciation to Jolene Wintermute, Laura Murray, and the members of the HBSC School Focus Group. Funding for this study was provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Norwegian Research Council, and the Elliott Travel Fellowship. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) is an international study carried out in collaboration with WHO/EURO. The International Coordinator of the [insert survey date] survey was Candace Currie, and the Data Management Centre Manager was Oddrun Samdal. The principal investigators for the 2005–2006 survey were as follows: Will Boyce (Canada), Oddrun Samdal (Norway), and Adriana Băban (Romania). For details, see


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Freeman
    • 1
  • Oddrun Samdal
    • 2
  • Adriana Băban
    • 3
  • Delia Bancila
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health Promotion and DevelopmentUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.Department of Health PsychologyTechnical University of Cluj-NapocaCluj-NapocaRomania
  4. 4.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern-DenmarkEsbjergDenmark

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