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High School Study: Classroom environment and well-being in multicultural schools

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In the High School Study in UngKul we invite multicultural high schools and further education colleges to participate in a study of school environment and students' mental health. The purpose is to gain knowledge about factors in the students' school life that are important for their competence, adaptation and learning in adolescence.

Illustrasjonsfoto: Colourbox.com
Illustrasjonsfoto: Colourbox.com

In the High School Study in UngKul we invite multicultural high schools and further education colleges to participate in a study of school environment and students' mental health. The purpose is to gain knowledge about factors in the students' school life that are important for their competence, adaptation and learning in adolescence.


During their teenage years, they will meet new challenges and there will be big changes for them intellectually, emotionally and socially.

Through the High School Study, we want to gain information about what resources adolescents need to master all the new tasks they are facing, which challenges young people perceive as particularly stressful, how they acquire the necessary skills to master the challenges they face in different cultural arenas, the factors that influence their identity development and the role of the school's psychosocial environment for their well-being and mental health. For schools to benefit from our study, we develop so-called School Health Profiles based on students' responses, which we present to the school staff. The School Health Profile sheds light on how students experience aspects of school life that affect their mental health, competence and well-being. They can provide useful additional information to the school's own investigation in relation to the work schools are doing to promote the psychosocial learning environment.

Questionnaires

Students complete a questionnaire at school in either paper form or electronically. Research assistants from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health are always present to assist students if they need it. Some students find that the questionnaire takes a long time and that some of the questions are strange, but we get a lot of positive feedback from participants who thank us for caring about how they are and who say they think it's good to reflect on the aspects of their life that the questionnaire covers.

Literature from the project

Brendalsmo, HS and Solhaug, GS (2007). Mental health in Immigrant Adolescents. An exploratory study of culture competence as a moderator in the relationship between daily hassles and depression. Thesis, professional study in psychology at the University of Bergen.

Håkansson, C and Lundbo, L (2007). Betydningen av skolens etniske sammensetning for akkulturasjon og psykisk helse hos minoritetsungdom. Thesis, professional study in psychology at the University of Oslo (in Norwegian only).

Dalhaug, KC, Oppedal, B, & Røysamb, E (2010). The role of sociocultural context for culture competence and depressive symptoms among ethnic minority youths in junior high school. European Journal of Developmental Psychology.