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Positive Education: Theory, Practice, and Evidence

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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02631

School-Related and Individual Predictors of Subjective Well-Being and Academic Achievement

  • 1Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany

Recent research in the educational context has focused not only on academic achievement but also on subjective well-being (SWB) as both play a major role in students’ lives. Whereas the determinants of academic achievement have been extensively investigated, little research has been conducted on school-related determinants of SWB in comparison with other students’ characteristics. In the present cross-sectional study, we set out to investigate whether perceived school climate predicts school grades and SWB above and beyond other variables that are important for SWB and academic achievement. A sample of 767 8th and 9th grade students (n = 361 female adolescents; age: M = 14.07 years, SD = 0.92) completed measures of SWB, perceived school climate, test anxiety, self-efficacy, and interest. Grade point average (GPA) indicated students’ academic achievement. Data were analyzed with latent structural equation models in which GPA and SWB were regressed on the school climate variables and students’ characteristics. Results indicated that a positive school climate as well as self-efficacy and the worry component of test anxiety predicted SWB and/or GPA after all other variables were controlled for. Directions for future research and the importance of school climate variables on adolescents’ SWB and academic achievement are discussed.

Keywords: subjective well-being (SWB), Academic Achievement, School Climate, self-efficacy, Interest, test anxiety

Received: 05 Feb 2018; Accepted: 06 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Jesus De La Fuente, University of Navarra, Spain

Reviewed by:

Mercedes Inda-Caro, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain
Amir H. Pakpour, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Iran  

Copyright: © 2018 Steinmayr, Heyder, Michels, Naumburg and Wirthwein. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ricarda Steinmayr, Technische Universität Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany, ricarda.steinmayr@tu-dortmund.de