The impact of personal background and school contextual factors on academic competence and mental health functioning across the primary-secondary school transition
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 3, 1-13 p., e89874Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Students negotiate the transition to secondary school in different ways. While some thrive on the opportunity, others are challenged. A prospective longitudinal design was used to determine the contribution of personal background and school contextual factors on academic competence (AC) and mental health functioning (MHF) of 266 students, 6-months before and after the transition to secondary school. Data from 197 typically developing students and 69 students with a disability were analysed using hierarchical linear regression modelling. Both in primary and secondary school, students with a disability and from socially disadvantaged backgrounds gained poorer scores for AC and MHF than their typically developing and more affluent counterparts. Students who attended independent and mid-range sized primary schools had the highest concurrent AC. Those from independent primary schools had the lowest MHF. The primary school organisational model significantly influenced post-transition AC scores; with students from Kindergarten--Year 7 schools reporting the lowest scores, while those from the Kindergarten--Year 12 structure without middle school having the highest scores. Attending a school which used the Kindergarten--Year 12 with middle school structure was associated with a reduction in AC scores across the transition. Personal background factors accounted for the majority of the variability in post-transition AC and MHF. The contribution of school contextual factors was relatively minor. There is a potential opportunity for schools to provide support to disadvantaged students before the transition to secondary school, as they continue to be at a disadvantage after the transition.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 3, 1-13 p., e89874
Humanities Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25387DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089874ISI: 000332485800011PubMedID: 24608366Local ID: HHJCHILDIS, HLKCHILDISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-25387DiVA: diva2:773332