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School-related stress and subjective health: Effort and reward among school pupils
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The present study analyses the relationship between effort and reward in school and the subjective health of ninth grade pupils in Stockholm, Sweden. Effort is constructed from two items: the pupil’s own assessment of his or her effort in very difficult school tasks, and whether he or she chooses to do something else if the school task is perceived as boring. Reward is operationalized in two alternate ways: as school marks, and as appreciation from teachers. The data were derived from the Stockholm School Survey (Stockholmsenkäten) of 2004, a survey of all pupils in the greater Stockholm area who attended the ninth and final grade of comprehensive school in 2004 (n=8,695). Multilevel linear regression analyses were conducted. The main findings are that both effort and reward are positively related to pupils’ subjective health, and that high effort in particular is associated with better subjective health. Low effort combined with low reward in terms of school marks is associated with the poorest health, although this is largely accounted for by confounding variables. Low effort and low reward in terms of little appreciation from teachers are associated with the poorest health also when potential confounders are controlled for. Contextual effects on subjective health are found for girls but not for boys.

Keyword [en]
School, effort-reward imbalance, subjective health, ninth grade, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31625OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-31625DiVA: diva2:277936
Available from: 2009-11-23 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2009-11-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Children's Living Conditions: Studies on Health, Family and School
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children's Living Conditions: Studies on Health, Family and School
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation includes four empirical studies, each of which focuses on specific aspects of children’s living conditions.

Study I analyses the association between young people’s social relations and health complaints using Swedish nationally representative survey data on 10- to 18-year-olds. Both relations with parents and with peers are associated with health complaints. Relational content is more strongly associated with health complaints than is relational structure. With regard to relational content, strained relations are more strongly associated with health complaints than are supportive relations.

Study II investigates how effort and reward in school are associated with pupils’ subjective health using data from the Stockholm School Survey. Both effort and reward are shown to be positively associated with subjective health, and in particular pupils who report to put in high effort in school have high levels of subjective health. Contextual variation in health is found for girls but not for boys.

Study III is based on Swedish register data and analyses the association between family type and choice of programme in upper secondary school. Children in single-mother households less often choose the natural science/technology (NT) programme compared with children who live with two original parents. Having a resident or a non-resident parent with NT skills is positively associated with choice of the NT programme.

Study IV analyses the association between family type and social support, health, and material resources in 24 countries. The data are derived from the international Health Behaviour of School-aged Children (HBSC) survey. In a majority of the countries studied, children in single-mother households report smaller resources compared with children living with two original parents. No clear pattern is found with regard to differences between countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, 2010. 30 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 77
Keyword
Children, living conditions, well-being, family, health, school, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31627 (URN)978-91-7155-978-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-01-27, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 4: Accepted. Available from: 2010-01-03 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2010-11-24Bibliographically approved

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