3 years ago

Children’s and Adolescents’ Conceptions of Happiness at School and Its Relation with Their Own Happiness and Their Academic Performance

Belén Fernández-Castilla, Belén López-Pérez


Previous research on children’s and adolescents’ well-being at school has been focused on the possible determinants. However, no previous research has analysed children’s and adolescents’ lay-beliefs or conceptualizations of happiness at school. In the present work, we studied children’s (N = 104, 9–10-year-olds) and adolescents’ (N = 113, 15–16-year-olds) conceptualizations of happiness at school and its link with self-reported happiness (assessed 3 months later) and academic achievement (assessed 7 months later). For both samples, seven conceptualizations emerged: happiness as ‘being with friends’, ‘being praised’, ‘getting good grades’, ‘learning’, ‘leisure’, ‘enjoyment’, and ‘helping’. Age differences appeared for the conceptualizations of ‘being friends’ and ‘helping’, as children mentioned significantly more the former and adolescents the latter. No gender differences emerged. For adolescents, the conceptualizations of happiness at school as ‘being with friends’, ‘being praised’, ‘helping’, and not ‘having leisure time’ were positively related to self-reported happiness, which was positively related to academic achievement. For children, none of the conceptualizations were positively related to self-reported happiness. The conceptualization of happiness as ‘learning’ was positively related to academic achievement. The results are discussed in regards to their implications for children’s and adolescents’ well-being at school.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-017-9895-5

DOI: 10.1007/s10902-017-9895-5

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