Child Indicators Research

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 1737–1753 | Cite as

Association between Adolescent School Climate and Perceived Quality of Life

  • Keith J. ZulligEmail author
  • Rose Marie Ward
  • E. Scott Huebner
  • Shay M. Daily


Evaluations that incorporate students’ perceptions of school climate and their quality of life are receiving increased interest. This study investigated the magnitude of relationships between 10 school climate domains, and three subjective quality of life measures, specifically overall life satisfaction, school-specific satisfaction, and self-rated health (SRH) among a large, diverse sample of public high school adolescents (N = 1643) from Arizona. Structural equation modeling techniques determined model fit. The model fit the data well: χ2 (n = 1643, 34) = 117.83, CFI = .98, TLI = .96, RMSEA = .039). Consistent with expectations, students’ perceptions of school climate predicted school satisfaction most strongly (β = .40, p < .001), followed by overall life satisfaction (β = .15, p < .001), and SRH (β = .15, p < .001). School connectedness (λ = .74, p < .001), positive student-teacher relationships (λ = .70, p < .001), academic support (λ = .68, p < .001), order and discipline (λ = .68, p < .001), and opportunities for school engagement (λ = .66, p < .001) had the highest loadings. Furthermore, tests of moderator effects revealed that the associations between school climate and school satisfaction and SRH were stronger for females whereas the association between school climate and overall life satisfaction was stronger for males. Results suggest higher levels of positive perceptions school climate are associated with higher levels of positive perceptions of quality of life, which provides additional support for the notion of more comprehensive assessments of school processes and outcomes.


School climate Perceived quality of life Life satisfaction Self-rated health 



The authors are grateful to Nadia Ghani and Rani Collins for their assistance with this project, who at the time of the study were with the Arizona Department of Education.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public HealthWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health and KinesiologyMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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