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Health Promotion in Schools: Results of a Swedish Public Health Project
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences. (Folkhälsovetenskap, positionerad vid Centrum för Forskning om Barns och Ungdomars Psykiska hälsa (CFBUPH).)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2718-0104
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Hälsofrämjande arbete i skolan : Resultat från ett folkhälsoprojekt (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

All children have the right to a safe school environment that promotes good health. The fact that children’s feeling of well-being is declining is a vital public health concern. Health promotion in schools can help to create an environment that fosters good health, and the Swedish school environment is in need of improvement.

The main aim of the thesis was to examine the health promotion activities that have been performed in Karlstad municipality primary schools between 2006 and 2012, from different perspectives, focusing on the school environment.

This thesis includes four studies. Studies I and II are qualitative, and are based on interviews with all school managers in a municipality and children’s suggestions for improvement, respectively. Studies III and IV are quantitative and feature a cross-sectional design based on a questionnaire that was distributed at different points in time.

In study I the categories: ‘Organization and collaboration’, ‘Optimize the arena’ and ‘Strengthening the individual’ emerged as vital by the school managers in health promotion, to enable ‘Opportunities for learning and a good life’. In Study II, ‘Psychosocial climate’ and ‘Influence’ emerge by the children as essential to increase school satisfaction and improve social relations among peers. Study III shows that classmates’ characteristics and class composition were associated with different perceptions of the classroom climate. Study IV shows that the school environment improved during 2005-2011 in the project municipality schools, and compared to the other municipalities in the county.

In sum, it is always important to endeavor to provide a health supportive school environment, as it is a vital prerequisite for children’s health, well-being and academic achievements. This thesis contributes to the field by showing what is needed to enhance future health promotion in Swedish schools from different perspectives, to improve children’s opportunities for learning and a good life.

Abstract [en]

All children have the right to a safe school environment that promotes good health. Health promotion in schools can help to create an environment that fosters good health. The aim of this thesis was to examine the health promotion activities that have been performed in Karlstad municipality primary schools, between 2006 and 2012 from different perspectives, focusing on the school environment. The results complement with new knowledge about how schools work with health promotion, and describe how school satisfaction and social relations might be improved, if children’s perspectives are considered in the planning of health promotion. The school environment has improved in the Karlstad municipality secondary schools 2005-2011, at both the municipality- and school level. The thesis contributes to the field of public health sciences, by showing what might be needed to further enhance school health promotion in Sweden and thereby improving schoolchildren’s opportunities for learning and living a good life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. , 106 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:24
Keyword [en]
Children, Health Promotion, Mental Health, Schools, School Environment, Sweden
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41218ISBN: 978-91-7063-702-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-41218DiVA: diva2:916794
Public defence
2016-05-13, Agardh 11D257, Karlstad, 11:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Public Health Agency of Sweden
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-06-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Health promotion in Swedish schools: School managers' views
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health promotion in Swedish schools: School managers' views
2017 (English)In: Health Promotion International, ISSN 0957-4824, E-ISSN 1460-2245, Vol. 32, no 2, 231-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Schools are recognized worldwide as settings for health promotion, and leadership has a bearing on schools’ ability to be health promoting. School managers have a great influence on what is prioritized in school, which in turn affects students’ school performance and health. There is lack of research into school managers’ views on health promotion, and what they consider to be central to health promotion. The aim was therefore to examine school managers’ views about what health promotion in schools include. An explorative design, qualitative content analysis, was performed. In-depth interviews were conducted with all 13 school managers of a middle-sized municipality in central Sweden. The analysis had both manifest and latent content and three categories: ‘Organization and Collaboration’, ‘Optimize the arena’ and ‘Strengthen the individual’, and 10 subcategories emerged. The theme, ‘Opportunities for learning and a good life’, describes the latent content of these categories. Taking into account the views of school managers are important because these views help form a more complete picture of how school managers work with health promotion and what is needed to enhance health promotion to improve students’ opportunities for learning and a good life. The Ottawa Charter for Health promotion is thereby transformed into practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2017
Keyword
schools, qualitative methods, public health
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-29918 (URN)10.1093/heapro/dat073 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-10-29 Created: 2013-10-29 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. School satisfaction and social relations: Swedish schoolchildren's improvement suggestions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>School satisfaction and social relations: Swedish schoolchildren's improvement suggestions
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1661-8556, E-ISSN 1661-8564, Vol. 61, no 1, 83-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: The aim was to explore schoolchildren’sviews on how to increase school satisfaction and improvesocial relations among peers at school.

Method: Improvement suggestions were collected fromschool children aged 10–12 years with the help of a feed-back model developed for the purpose. Qualitative contentanalysis was used.

Results: Two categories emerged from the analysis:‘psychosocial climate’, which included the subcategories‘adults’ roles and responsibilities’ and ‘classmates’ normsand values’; ‘influence’, which included the subcategories‘changes in the physical environment’ and ‘flexible learn-ing’. The categories are seen as important to increaseschool satisfaction and improve social relations amongpeers at school.

Conclusion: Examining children’s opinions is requestedand promoted by the UN convention on the Rights of theChild. The findings contribute to the field by showing howschool satisfaction and social relations might be improved,if the child perspective is considered in the planning ofhealth promotion activities in school

Keyword
Public health, Schoolchildren, School satisfaction, Social relations, Qualtive content analysis
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38733 (URN)10.1007/s00038-015-0696-5 (DOI)000367692400010 ()26012848 (PubMedID)
Funder
Public Health Agency of Sweden
Available from: 2015-11-27 Created: 2015-11-27 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Classmate characteristic’s, class composition and children’s perceived classroom climate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Classmate characteristic’s, class composition and children’s perceived classroom climate
2017 (English)In: Journal of Public Health, ISSN 2198-1833, E-ISSN 1613-2238, Vol. 25, no 5, 473-480 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM:

A beneficial classroom climate is vital for school achievements, health, well-being, and school satisfaction. However, there is little knowledge as to how the classmate characteristics and class composition are related to the level of a perceived messy and disorderly classroom climate and whether the estimated relationships vary between different groups of children. The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between classmate characteristics as well as class composition and children's perceived classroom climate.

METHOD:

Data from a cross-sectional survey administrated in 71 classes including 1,247 children in a mid-sized Swedish city were used. The analyses were conducted using multilevel models.

RESULTS:

A class with a higher proportion of girls was associated with a lower likelihood of perceiving the classroom climate as messy and disorderly. Moreover, a higher proportion of immigrant children in a class was associated with a perception of a messier and disorderly classroom climate among non-immigrant children, but not among immigrant children themselves.

CONCLUSION:

Classmate characteristics and class composition deserve more research attention and can be important considerations when aiming to improve the classroom climate and children's well-being in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Weinheim: , 2017
Keyword
Children, Class composition, Classroom climate, Public health sciences, School health promotion
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41220 (URN)10.1007/s10389-017-0809-0 (DOI)28959519 (PubMedID)
Note

Artikeln ingick som manuskript i Louise Perssons doktorsavhandling och hade då titeln: Classmate characteristic’s, class composition and children’s perceived classroom disruption

Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2017-10-11Bibliographically approved
4. Can school health promotion improve the school environment?: Results of a Swedish Public Health School Project
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can school health promotion improve the school environment?: Results of a Swedish Public Health School Project
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science; Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41221 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-05-09Bibliographically approved

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