Mental well-being among students in Norwegian upper secondary schools: the role of teacher support and class belonging
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Knowledge about factors in school that can promote adolescents’ mental health is of great value for national health policies and health promotion work. This cross-sectional study investigated levels of mental wellbeing measured with the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale and the relationship with teacher support and class belonging among 574 Norwegian high school students, aged 16-17 (55.1% boys). The data stem from the COMPLETE-project. Results showed that students reported an average mental wellbeing of 3.50 (SD 0.88, range 1-5), with significant differences across gender, study specialization area and socioeconomic status groups. Class belonging partially mediated the observed relationship between teacher support and mental well-being after adjusting for covariates. The findings indicate that a supportive teacher may be a significant factor for both students’ class belonging and mental well-being, and suggests that school policies and programs should include a focus on promoting teachers’ supportive behavior.